by Karl Young
the warmth of your body deformed bicycle green in the twilight anonymous ashes in the river at dawn storm of burnt iron river remembers rain panics ocean turns deadly at twilight boredom falls as if it mattered morality sinks in the film twisted barns asphalt at noon sand bars long for schedules the navigation of infinitesimal mirrors eternity screams on its birthday trucks hide their shadows child of neon hungry cellars in the darkness gray shame aroused by the hours a wife in the mountains a husband in a fishing boat a child in the emptiness of another dawn the bitter river turns its face soft light on betrayal bridge to hair walls bleed rooms claw the sky fear cries alone in the sunlight saltpeter tastes the skin of the bells disgrace acts out the clicking of nails gardens of rust forget the cold twilight the faucet answers bottle caps collect fearful dust the river's hands reach for burns children of the river drink the gray sky the children of the sky sink in the river the river is reason the children of agony ask for reason the river vanishes clusters of petrified promises carpeted with flowers wild iris tortured iron dawn watches noon waits sunset makes promises bells ring in the darkness the temperature of warm oceans
The vocabulary for this poem was drawn from English equivalents of French words in Gustave Flaubert's Trois contes and Marguerite Duras's Hiroshima, mon amour.
Written in June and July, 1990 for the International Shadows Project; revised July, 1991.
First published in World's Edge, an English Language Japanese publication edited by Sherry Reniker.
Copyright © 1991 by Karl Young.
Light and Dust @ Grist Mobile Anthology of Poetry.