Epiphany

The day I realized I might never see
Her again was a kind of wildness.
Mortality was giving back
Not the fear of missing out
But the relief of never again.
Time was complicit too.
I ran out and it signed on
As if a baby crying stopped
And the sunset could be beautiful again.

 

Harlequin

I begged her to look
I asked her to see through me
I whispered as a diver pushes
Down through the pressure
Into the caverns of her liver processing,
Don’t you see your face
Is an exact replica of the world?
Is an exact mirror of the universe bereft?

If I left out love
It was only as a man without
Entrails would,
Obsessed with need that does not know
Mine or hers, a hidden
Bunker buried miles below a planet’s crust
The way her eyes receive mine in return
The way her soul turns the color of skin
I wonder what I’ll look like when I die
Until I turn and write the opposite sentence
Of things as they pass through my body
Seeking porous presence,
Filling full the entrails of exit,
The ones forgotten, the fuller presence as
Another self inflates, becomes a place in place.

 

To Honor

A vasectomy of men gathered on screen today
Making us think of Lorca’s death
His bludgeoning by cop
His star’s death hidden
Scared of what’s left
Once the filming ends.
I push away the feelings
Upon recognition
There is no right way to feel at last.
I am left with the tulips in my yard
That forget to press up and through
Since I failed to plant them,
And this night is the one
Before I wake to merge
With memories I’ve read
Of Lorca holding New York once
In the cradle of his journal
In the cushion of his mind
In the kindness of his words
In displacement of the love
He saw us through, including the men
Who fail everyone, reminders to remember
The soil and the many who enter it

 

After Words

Will the circle hold,
Will the falconer be found
Will Bethlehem become anymore?
Will we still have compelling things
In a planet on fire, loosed, unsheathed?
Is there anything left to kill myself for?
I listen hard to the weather against the glass,
I listen hard to the voices beyond solitude,
Which turns out to be no solitude at all,
Especially not one I possess, but is after everything
A flesh I cannot unbecome
Without a terrible wrenching of flesh.
Do I lick the slime from a machete’s afterbirth?
Do I still dream of death and her underskirts?
Is she still the wasp, the dog, the horse
That is the rose I never planted too? The circling around
My unpossessed solitude?
Will I hear her discharge before the light becomes new?

 

Amy King won the 2015 Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest, The Missing Museum, is a 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize winner. She’s co-editor of the anthologies Big Energy Poets: Ecopoetry Thinks Climate Change and Bettering American Poetry. King is professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

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