3.Avatar Review
     A Review of Poetry, Prose, and Art - Summer 2001

All The Things Our Silence Says

Poems by Janet Buck

For so long, I respected granite of the stoic,
tar and tower that matted down the wings of ghost.
Looked with pride upon our strength,
keeping tears in velvet boxes in a drawer.
Their stowaways that watched a wave
but didn't swim or ice fish with a wormy quill.
Now I see the curse and current for its salt,
the clinging kind that eats the sea weed and the corn.
Walk barefoot over broken glass and pick the jails
we've guarded with our sacky chins.
All the sap just waiting there for hummingbirds
to hover over mindlessly.

This mess we've made of loneliness
will always be that rotted apple in a lunch.
I pop the latch and thick of rust
we've courted like an April morning
sweats the fact of morning dew.
We are just stiff, so different from the steel
and sure we thought was noble in its shape.
Exit is an art we've honed, a house we've built.
So much grit beneath our nails.
Years stoop our shoulders, bone spine bending
toward Nuit d'Amour, toward suns erased,
where darkness wins this round of chess.

Our teeth are turning deeper shades
of yellowness, succumbing to the mute decay.
Just once before the tulips fade,
I want a hug to melt the hail.
See fire and ice in moon-less sacks of eyes
propped open by a creaking cause
undoing curse of jagged lulled sarcophogi.
All the things our silence says.
So much grit beneath our nails.
My mother's death like snow in June
that froze the red geraniums.
And so you threw the pot away.
I plant myself, my scattered seeds
of crying out for sense and soul,
sleep-walk in connected dreams
that reach beyond the chatterings—
fear inside we'll need a string of eulogies,
a tighter braid of lethal snakes,
to tie these shoes of traipsing deserts hand in hand—
to recognize we're minor premise, merely flesh
licking short retreating hour.

© Copyright 2004 Avatar Review.