Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Joseph Lisowski writes



A small moth, bouncing near lamp and wall,
alights on my table, tests its surface.
It flips into a rim of water,
squiggles twice on surface wetness,
then lies still as if dead.  Minutes later,
it drags itself to dryness, trailing
a faint line of fluid but finally stops.
Heat from a lamp evaporates its path.

I am in the presence of death
but wait pointlessly for flight.


Grief contracts suddenly
like a muscle spasm.
Nothing but time spells release.
When the intensity leaves,
I massage my hurt.
Too late for comfort,
too soon for regret.

The ache is part of the program,
like breathing, eating.
Flushed chambers of the heart
pump blood free.  The cycle, though,
is the same.  All veins lead back
to the same heart, the same hurt.

I am bound in my body.
All movement stays inside.
My daughter's body is still.
She is elsewhere,
nowhere I can touch.


A man dreams
that he is a new man,
neither young nor old.
He stands against
a grey background,
maybe clouds,
maybe an ordinary room.
He is whole, seamless.
Others drift by
and fade into grey.
A few notice him.
And he spins his hands
which have no fingers
but five large triangles
of fine-beaten gold
sparkling from each hand.
They are close to each other
and whirling.  They create a sun.
Tremendous peace fills him.
He transmits life beyond death.
Those who notice
are caught in the stream.

Later, he looks into a cave
and sees himself in a dark pond,
wedged in a corner,
exposed to his chest.
An old electric hairdryer
lies nearby, hot with electricity.
He feels that its owner
may throw it in the water.
He decides the worry is for another time.

He turns back to his spinning hands.
More come and leave in the light.


Grief is an amputated hand,
blood fast running out,
each cell yearning for connection,
finding only empty air.
Then a numbing.
Edges curl back
first blue, then grey.
Then black.  It becomes
a lifeless thing
that hardens
and in slow measure
becomes ash.


I do not want to write
I do not want to think
I do not want to work
I do not want to cook
I do not want to clean
I do not want to talk
I do not want to read
I do not want to dream
I do not want my daughter dead.

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