Summer 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. IV, No. 2


Poetry    Translations    Non-Fiction    Fiction    Essays   

Joseph P. Kenyon


Letter Slipped Under the Door of a Stranger's Apartment

I want to love you.
In another life, in another body, maybe.
But small animals don’t forage in the daytime.
Athena forgot when she sent Telemachus
out to look for his father
that nothing can be found in the light
that cannot be felt in the darkness.

Once I caught you in your blackness singing a sparrow’s song
that I had to hear while two owls hovered overhead,
ready to pounce upon whatever ranged free in our chests.

I wish we could walk along the edge of the sea
and cast ourselves about ourselves
as effortlessly as the ocean casts itself onto the shore
and carries away a bit more with each effort.
Something in you won’t let go of something in me.
Talons, perhaps. Slow wing beats. Silent landings.

I am ready to die.
Pieces of me slough off like words that lose their endings,
then their meanings,
until all the vocabulary left is dross and unkempt.
This is not teenage angst or suicidal or anything alarming.
I have died before; it’s no big deal.
I’ve died without you before; I’ll do it again:
Syncopation has never been one of my strong points.
You wouldn’t know that.
You mix well with yourself.

So maybe that is why you don’t need me.
Where is that owl?
I am food waiting to be taken and sacrificed
on an altar lost to civilizations eons ago.
Let my blood run into the ground beneath the world;
the world—
as I believe it to be,
as you believe it to be—
Are layers apart.

There are many things that fall in winter beside snow.
There is essence to be considered.
There are roots to be tended.
Shoots to protect.
Eyes to be laid in for another season.

Something, after all, should hold promise
in the palm of its hand.


© Joseph P. Kenyon



Poetry    Translations    Non-Fiction    Fiction    Essays   

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