a poem for thursday

Because it’s an unconventional Thursday and I’m bored.


by E.D. Kain

Sunday morning is a wet fog
smeared red with streetlights.

Alone in a slow rain, a low cloud, oil black
pavement loud beneath tennis shoes, the shroud

of wide black sky just beginning to peel
up around the edges, match light striking

up yellow flint in the east above the trees;
the silhouettes of leaves.

The grass I come to is softer than the street, imprints
the fossils of my footsteps.

A car passes dragging rain beneath its wheels,
its engine muffled, its headlights hemmed in mist.

I curl up beside a low stone wafer
that juts up rectangular from the wet earth.

An epitaph—two dates and a dash between,
scattered rose petals, dark grass strewn about the ground

pressed in where I kneel down,
and drop a few shards into the bowl.

And now you must inhale and keep twisting so as not to burn
the glass: ever-so-gently breathe in, let it crawl down

your throat, your esophagus, fill your lungs
in one deep fluid, deep molasses gasp—slowly—

and now exhale: wisp of sandpaper,
burnt linoleum, the inside of a light bulb,

sulfur and stained-glass,
the Sahara.

Mine, wide dilated eyes.

Owl eyes.

The time I couldn’t recognize you
because of your two voids I thought must be eyes

but couldn’t be, they were so black and empty
and your face so pale I forgot skin covered your bones

and those eyes only sockets and your name
a distant thing that so many nights without sleep

had erased.

I unfurl myself and stand,
awake and restless.

The screen of spray and drizzle
melts away into yellows and greys

and the silent litany of trees and grass
and whispering leaves.

A graveyard washed across with light.

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