Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Life lived four lines at a time

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October Smoke

Once again, the sun burns the tears out of me.
It invades me like a shadow in the black of night,
without definition, devoid of shape, more absence
than substance. And this is barely afternoon.

My heart is swollen from the light, from the breaking
and leaking of it. Anything might set it off and does:
The scene where Amelie spontaneously melts and splashes
to the floor in a pillar of puddle, for instance; the wind

that has carried a swarm of sand and soot from a hundred
miles away to becloud the horizon, suffocate the hilltop on
which I live, obliterate the tragic sea beyond. I am occluded
as this weather that has descended like a horde of pestilence.

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Ominous. Precursory. Foretold by doom and the chokehold of
destiny. Life is being lived four lines at a time and this is the best
proof I can offer. I cannot tell what will come next but that
the trees are now brittle and coated in sickly grey caramel.

The ground is clotted with dead straw. I foresee the night to come: it will go bouldering through the blackness like an obelisked whale pulling the dawn afire with it. It will set lovers undermoon, break tides to bed them in breaching shapes I am no longer part of.

My hands are missing and my lips feel foreign on my face. Nothing
is as anything I expect. I surrender that stubborn pretense and continue with this poem because to stop would mean having to look my children in the eyes and not have reasons for any of this.

Joseph Gallo
October 20, 2007

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