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March 27, 2017 | Poetry

Two Poems

Christen Noel

Two Poems photo

30 Something

In hopes of rain, we laid our bodies south
and let our mothers cry to empty sinks.
It couldn’t be the sound of copper laugh
or disembodied gulls on steeple points,
but maybe drums. A pounding in our ears
and in our chest, the open field we filled
with metal scraps and piles of broken wood.

When nothing could be nailed into the ground.
When nothing could be held the way we thought.

It takes a year to recognize a face,
another year to own the way we rise
from pit to sky and back to where we came.
Our fathers hold the strings like kites and pull
to miss the hanging limbs of birch and pine,
but all we want is sap. The maple blood
to coat our skin. An unsuspecting moth
to catch it’s wing against our cheek,

suspended in thick,
the piece we knew would come.


Waiting for Migration

I make toast every morning
for the same plate
just to remember how it feels
to be consumed
Maybe there are highways
between hemispheres
the corpus callosum of clouds
I could sever
except for the sandpiper
an exodus of swallows
from parking lot to beach
Every week is a test of endurance
I make lists in red ink
Tape them to the fridge
Remind me I agreed I would stay
when snowdrifts cut holes
in the disks of my spine
The lake is a joke
I don’t want to feel
Every morning I read in the dark
Paste words on the page
because white space drowns 
and how many words
does it take to say leave
Every night is a prayer
in a pasty shell
half moon without heat
without taste on my tongue
Remind me I agreed to sit still
in April snowfall
when seagulls return
from Chesapeake Bay
Every day is a break in this sky

image: Doug Paul Case


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