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some, hooded, hide their faces hands inside their sleeves
some, uncovered, wipe their tears, brood in fabric’s fold
mourning lasts for months . loss persists
this contaminated gloom-gesture-moaning . bridge
open mouths . too . impelled to sing . or scream
Foundation, Choctaw Street, 2010
To think of naming’s violence, retrospection’s weight
To think of time, all that was taken
To think of today (pale blue sky)
Have your shadows relieved the blood path?
Have you gathered the future vertical broken seam?
Have you welcomed those new constructions?
To think what living braced before your migration
before city became something other
Then to think you and I did nothing
To think how we remained fleeting darkness
Today pavement’s white heat memory
The past, clarity’s brief pockets
If the future is this fissure river, your life lines elsewhere.
Les Feuilles Mortes
what there is not, love, is sun
but memories’ casualties
only for slight light to rift
along with few autumn leaves
more gold in their intrusion
a rug both plant and animal
you rise above—
chest’s five arches open—
oh the androgynous fashion
the way one is drawn in
sitting one foot forward
cleavage of body and matter
I wind the yarn tied invisibly to the center of you
what breaks out is birds
faceless grey shadow
moss pockets memory floor to ceiling
curtains motion soundless
noise a bloodshed recollection
leaves admit and defy at once
continue this conversation
on empty chair, bench, mantel
in the heart of the room,
I pulled at the center of you,
and life came spilling out.
The following art pieces about death were points of departure for the poems included here:
The Mourners, Jean de la Huerta, Antoine le Moiturier, from the Tomb of Due John the Fearless and Margaret of Barvara, 1443-1456.
Foundation, Choctaw Street, Sarah Van Der Beek, 2010. After Walt Whitman.
Les Feuilles Mortes, Remedios Varo, 1956.
Deborah Poe’s books include the last will be stone, too (Stockport Flats Press 2013), Hélène (Furniture Press 2012), Elements (Stockport Flats 2010), and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords 2008). She has several published chapbooks, most recently Keep (above/ground press 2012). Deborah also co-edited Between Worlds: An Anthology of Contemporary Fiction and Criticism (Peter Lang 2012). Her writing has recently appeared in Handsome, Coconut, Shampoo, Turntable & Blue Light, seventeen seconds, and Denver Quarterly. For more, please visit www.deborahpoe.com.
To visit Stockport Flats, publisher of the last will be stone, too, go here.
To buy the last will be stone, too, go here.