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November 20, 2015 Poetry

Two Poems

Zef Lisowski

Two Poems photo

For Consideration

“The soul of “Godzilla (2014),” to the extent that it has one, dwells with the monsters.” —“Still Radioactive and Spoiling for a Fight,” New York Times, 5/15/14

The dark ridged back, stupid tail whippeting beneath whitecaps. Scales like oyster shells: the movie floats in scuzzy grays & greens. He roars. I know this water, the way it curls around each of us too large not to lumber, the way it pierces and punctures lungs. Growing up, I'd spend nights swimming between shores, touching the Currituck Sound bruised pink from school beatings. I’d stay out until the sun crowned, and there, pruned for hours, I’d become scaled. Scars hardening to horn.

It wasn't until I hit high school I learned the depth sound water goes, how close I was to drowning every single night. Our gharial finds out fast, too; plummeting, on screen, further & further down. We, slouched in seats, each watch him go. In high school, you kept moving or you sank. That was what I learned in Ecology of Swampland, the last class I took before transferring far away from the Outer Banks. He never learns. Trapped onscreen, thick lunged and sweeping. Ducking below aircraft carriers. Water rosy with blood. He plunges until, crushed by water, away from everything, everything is whole again.


Finding Rodent Bones By Lake of Parent’s New Backyard

After Laszlo Krasznahorkai

Crushed in dirt, it takes me
hours to wash them off.
Clean, they are like gleaning
sigils, hints of another life. Cupped,
you can hold most in one hand.

This is what I do: walk
by the lake. Hold the bones.
Feel the curve of water ebbing
through my sandals. The house
is new, but these woods are
strange, endless, and ancient.

You fucked up, little bones.
Maybe you didn’t look before
paddling across the lake; maybe
an owl swept down and
spit you up. By the lakeside. Did
your  parents grieve, little bones?
Did you know who they were,
even? I know little

about your kind. Whether
they nuzzled you or not. How big
each was, the breadth between
their eyes. I am here, bones. I
stand at the side of this lake.
You could be ancient, older
than I’ve ever been. Help me,
little bones. Your body feels
warm, still, serene in my palm.

image: Carabella Sands