Spheres

I stopped opening doors. Outside
a slow blue car passes 6 evenly spaced
concrete spheres.
There are 4 plastic spheres beneath
the bookshelf.
Her ball is a sphere.
I draw a sphere.
When I finally open the door
there is a mirror.
I see how dark
my eyes are. My hair was dark
once. I touch my cheek and
think of shaving.

That night I close a door.
It half locks, I think of leaving
it like that.
Who could enter?
And if they did I’d make
conversation and speak to them
of spheres – concrete and fluid,
broken and not yet formed.

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red star

One afternoon, last October,
I saw a red star falling.
Transfixed, I thought of socialism
and the death of it in the minds
of those who believe in it.
None of my friends are socialists.
All of my friends believe they are socialists.
I thought of fascism,
how that too is a red star.
Not falling, rising.
I heard black words, the fear of becoming static.
And in the night, the sky devoid of light,
there was that red star. I watched it wander,
descend or rise. Neither matters.
Lost, I imagined it to be the last star
ever to shine. Call it a plane, my friend said later.
No, I told him. It has to be a star.
Red as the heart of war.
Red as blood on a tunnel’s long wall.
Red as a deep cut that will always bleed.
Eventually, it stopped falling.
We drank the gin and I told my friend
that I believed, utterly, that if we went
outside right there and then we would
see many more red stars. Rising and falling.
We would hear their formation in the hushed,
stunned conversation of those around us.
The fear of truth. The need to find a lie.
We stayed, we drank, and in the morning
it was bright and there were no stars.

Or silence

5 am. Between dreams, or attempts to dream,
and clarity, memory – outside
crows peer into an empty road. There is dark
or silence. I heft my foot, stiff and the skin purpled.
I touch my foot and feel nothing. Broken.
I have been waking this way for months. Later,
I wonder if the crows woke me then remember
the creak of pipes in the dark. The woman
beyond my walls died a week ago. We never spoke.
Though perhaps, once, maybe crossing one afternoon
between the church and cafe. She pulled on her small
dog’s lead and smiled. I thought nothing of it
when the barks stopped. Why would I?
When something so new vanishes we feel nothing.
It is the things that have been within our consciousness
longest which leave the greater chasms. The widest hollows.
The emptiest dark. Or silence.