IN THE DARK, I REACH OUT TO TOUCH HER
To see day die in her eyes,
after a full concert of red leaves,
orange hills, trees lit
fore then aft –
To feel the details go out of me,
everything else matter more,
no nose, no mouth
the stage set for the universe -
To take the dark lunge
from couple on a porch,
to thoughts in ever-constricting circles -
To say a night word
like it's to ourselves,
to hear one spoken,
a sound with no head for meaning –
To tell why in full daylight
means in this lifetime,
and in evening shadow,
only breath makes it clear -
is to know death a little,
is to touch
beyond all reasoning.
Loneliness asked for me.
We met at a coffee house and discussed books.
Then we tied balloons to our ears,
floated above the Memorial Park
where geese nibbled and old couples did laps.
And, before we parted, I amazed him
with my big secret - he was me.
At that point, one of us disappeared.
But I did take the call.
Whether it was solitude on the other end,
the conversation never let on.
The topic was music this time.
We each had our own favorite song -
by coincidence, one and the same.
Then we hung up.
And it was like everything in my entire life
put down the phone.
John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Slant, Southern California Review, and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge, and Soundings East.
Low tide...flesh slipped discreetly from the bone.
You are made of gray, rippling sand,
scattered pebbles, shell and scattering crabs.
The terns can't get enough of you.
Low tide... children picking at your innards.
Sun-bathers given more distance.
Legs returned to the waders.
Waves holding back in fear
of where they've so recently unraveled.
White light fading on symphony bells -
that's how I recall it.
Not a bird feasting at all,
but a twilight for the shore,
a spilling lifeline stretched and flattened.
Something huge is always in miniature
while here and there,
the miniscule blows up ten-thousand-fold -
it's the line my body's taking.