Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Joseph Lisowski writes



How far back can I go
before I regain the father
who cradled me, whose voice
spun a warm blanket
that swaddled my farthest nerves?
How far back must I go?

My hands and feet
are not up to the task.
My mind is stiff
with speculation.
I need to leave behind
this desire, start without
hope.  This is no romance.
It is a fool's risk,
a drunkenness
that swallows venom
and spits fire.


Rivers of sorrow
hold no fish.
Bait drifts listlessly
on the surface.
Monofilament sways
in the current.

What if a man
standing on the bank
casts again and again.
How long can he endure?


If God has a face,
it is my daughter's
sparkling like sun dazzled sea.
My spirit jumps at the sight,
eyes well with tears,
vocal chords constrict.
Words, half formed,
dribble from my lips,
fall wet to chest, knees.
Then she vanishes.

I am alone in my living room.
The overhead fan rattles,
forcing in desert wind.
It's like my bones turn to ash.
Flesh stiffens and feels like wax.


Today is a good day.  Clouds
keep sun and punishment away.
A few drops of rain soothe
my scorched flesh.  I take
whatever chill wind brings.
Tropic heat wears
a northern soul bone thin.
After years, even blood is weary.
I yearn for a simpler time.

But today is a good day.
It is Easter, and I now write this
to remind me later
that it is so.


I cannot say
what batters, knocks,
pushes me.
(My eyes blur
and cannot see
what I write).

I am alive in sensible things.
My mass breaks space,
breath streaks the air.
But my daughter's spirit
is more real than bones
I crack, blood I spill.

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