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Poems and Lovelorn Thoughts, Vol. IX

Contemplating Quiet

Quiet

Does not necessarily mean

Placid.

Take the sea, for instance:

Its surface can be as still

As silence,

Hardly a ripple, seemingly untouched.

But turn the tides

Once, and you’ve got yourself a storm

So frothy

And tempestuous

And blue-black

And bruised

And bubbly

That you can’t even tell

Where the sea ends

And the sky begins.

L. E. S.

If I am glass,

Let me shatter all the windows

To myself, smash every porthole

In my veins, demolish the

Reflections you think you know,

Until I’m

Dancing in broken shards

That only I understand.

 

If I am glass,

Go ahead and break me,

Push me off the shelf —

I dare you.

 

For the moment I shatter,

You’ll see the pieces on the floor

Collect, flicker dark,

Glow blood orange on the edges,

Tornado up into constellations

Fireworks, bruised ecstasies —

You’ll see me explode

Back Into life,

A Phoenix you mistook

For a canary

In a coal mine.

Ornithology

I have wings like Silver and

Cinnamon, layered with

Dove gray and swatches of

Scarlet paint.

When I fly, my short feathers

Look like a blur of snow

Behind a brown cloud, and the red

Cuts the air like a flame

Kindling the Distance.

 

I know my own wings:

They are mine, and I am theirs,

We are each other,

And we are ourselves.

Every beat of my heart is

A beating of my wings.

 

The top of my head is

Dusty brown, and you can usually

Tell it’s me by the tousled

Feathers there,

Or by the shock of delicate white

Right by the neck.

 

I sing timidly, but you can hear me

When I’m on my own, if you hide behind a

Tree or lamp post — it’s a three note tune,

Short short long, short short long —

One, two, three — one, two, three —

Light and mellow, like wind

On glass, or a pebble hitting the carpet.

 

You can find me on the tops of pines,

Usually, or up in overcast skies

Or where the snow lies still and soft

In places no one goes.

 

I know my own wings:

They are mine, and I am theirs,

We are each other,

And we are ourselves.

Every beat of my heart is

A beating of my wings.

 

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