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Issue 18

Poetry » R. S. Stewart »



After arrival, what is there
but a loosening of the limbs,
the nerves jostled to extreme
the same number of times
that a journey was mentioned
as an alternate to travel.

After such rough passage
the interior landscape resembles
invention, a sequence of scenes
that tumble in the frames
of distant motion, the detail distinct
before a piece of it wanes,

mountainous in its silence
as arrival once was.

Behind Me

How annoying it is
to have to be alert
to disturbance behind me
when what’s ahead captivates me more
than anything I’ve known
from the ferocious past,
that sunken stone
that inimitably rises
to shoulder height
on intermittent occasions
to mimic its might
on days as sullen
as this long one
when all I’m doing
is walking along
breathing and eyeing
bright pebbles on the path
as I never did or desired
in my youth.

Behind Two Closed Doors

The doors are not far apart.
For the sake of sound
they are proofed against noise.
No passing pedestrian found
either door ajar or swung wide open.
The doors seem historically locked.
One door is white, the other door beige.
If one knocked and knocked
no one would answer.
Eyes at the keyholes
yield no miniature image
of what cloth or flesh controls
the interiors. If one waited
past midnight between the doors
the only answer to anything
is what the polish on the floors
says about scuffs and shine
and the general grit
and not about a door
and what’s beyond it.