Let It Remain
Comfort of name,
pears falling, and
I will take no
from this day
but let it remain
here in the knowing,
in the tyranny
of the absolute
and its enforced
both flight and
of fruit grown full.
“Let It Remain” first appeared here in September 2015.
The reconciled, the residue of one’s
virtues displayed or absorbed
that within become the basis for
talk: furtive movements, the knife’s
gentle persuasion, wine
afforded the quality of enhancement.
We must preserve the truth, and other
disingenuous phrases, as if we may
admit our tastes only at great cost
to our politics and sense of being.
And fruitful loss – the reduction
sauce, or stock evaporated – which
attaches in dissipation
the grace of subtlety. To be more
with less. To be apparent yet
concealed. To be, in turn, aware.
“Osso Buco” first appeared here in March 2015.
I offer nothing in return, and in offering, receive.
My mouth is a river
whose current bears no words,
but the silence is not of my making.
Notice the streets and their grey
hunger, the rain and the sun
passing by much
as one passes an unopened door.
That question, unvoiced.
That shiver preceding the icy touch.
You may deny my motives.
You may deny my existence and
the very notion of shape unto form.
I offer nothing, and in offering, receive.
“Bandera” first appeared here in May 2015, and was subsequently published in The Basil O’Flaherty in November 2016.
Though my tongue withers from disuse and
drought, I taste from across the sea astringent
smoke and the progeny of a hundred bullets
buzzing by like misguided insects through
the theater of the dying, and I question how
pride and greed, hubris and fear, unwind their
cords to detonate these differing yet tangled
lines. How to fathom such depth of mistrust?
The Christian paints her door frames azure, a
Muslim carpets his tile floor, the Jew panels his
walls, yet among each, various segments clash,
and all of their houses implode. I feel nothing,
yet shiver throughout the sun-blazed afternoon.
Then I consider the structure of zero, whether its
body contains or extracts, negates or compromises,
hollows out duplicates within duplicates, exorcising
with a blade so sharp as to peel away memory from
those it crosses without the faintest murmur. Gone.
Erased. Banished to never having been. I neither
breathe nor digest, but I absorb and recall. How do
you so willingly forget history? This post determines
my destination, but not my destiny, not tomorrow’s
promise, nor the returning birds and faith, the long
nights, their stars, their deaths, the following days.
“Scarecrow Questions” first appeared here in February 2016.
What good is a rock
if the people fall, if truth
remains but no one
hears the long grass
rattle, and words
burst into flame
and gas, and life
poisons itself with
greed and the deficit
No body exists to bury.
I am trying to return
to a place of open
mouths, of nests and
groves left standing
despite their value
to the market. Which
pocket do I empty,
what song do I leave
yesterday, and today
flakes away into chilled
ash, carried over
rooftops and clouds,
never to be seen again.
Listening to Cicadas, I See Charlottesville (Ghazal)
Shedding one coat, you live in the red, apart
from the rest. Never together, forever apart.
In this sun-drenched field, the cracks drill deeper,
wider, dribbling soil and small lives, expanding, apart.
What falls truer than any words released from this man?
Once divided, never again to touch, always apart.
The electric shrill fluctuates pitch, in unison. Hundreds
of tymbals, shredding dusk, now together, then apart.
You narrow your eye to a slit, but still see the entire
spectrum. Wing clicks, stridulation. Whole yet apart.
Shearing syllables, I learn the language of half-truth.
What is my name? I reach for that fragment. It falls apart.