Poetry

Forgiveness is a small boat and other poems

by Zachary Kluckman

Forgiveness is a Small Boat

 

You were       almost

A silk-worms’ favorite leaf

Once

 

Almost          delicate

 

Slender wristed

As the throat of those orchids

We talked about planting at Christmas

 

But you could never catch rain

That’s how I knew we were doomed

 

The heart is a drunken architect

Full of blue prints and sky scrapers

No one understands his designs

 

When you danced naked

Through the tawdry office of my mind

Upsetting the furniture

Teaching the windows

to sing like wine glasses

At Hollywood weddings

 

You were the rain

 

All throaty laughs and light touches

 

You were the leaves    dancing over concrete in fall

Red eyed and wicked

Waiting for some one to jump in

 

I was a leaf gatherer

Chasing these widows of spring

 

Pressing lovers into bed sheets

The way maple folds against the spine

Of old journals      biting at the bindings

 

A canvas topped Samson

Loose in the city          assaulting bookstores

With the jawbone of an ass

 

Stolen from a farmer’s field

Freeing poems trapped like hungry birds

In the back of old books

 

You were       almost    delicate

I was rebellious, a bee in the window

Your eyes could never quite close

 

Somewhere in Albuquerque there is a church

That remembers the prayers of our feet

 

In that church there is a closet

Where we almost committed a sin of impatience

A broom that has seen you naked

 

And a flowerbed where I buried our vows

When you weren’t looking

 

As this earth is my witness

You were the rain

 

I have stood naked inside of you

Surprised by your violence

 

 

The Sun is a Bug on the Windshield

 
…the sunset

stays in my windows.

I have trapped it there

 

with a brush

painting each color’s portrait

 

with the eager optimism

of a sinner

seeking salvation,

 

with the quick hands

of a junkie,

 

convinced that rainbows are prisons.

 

Water based prisms

making marionette’s of the spectrum.

Colors suspended

 

by their own lack of faith,

 

with the skepticism

of a father, with no home

for his children

 

convinced the sky

has slit its wrists,
opened the veins in a display

 

meant for the sun.

 

A mean ex-lover

whose affairs with the trees

gave birth to the shadows

 

where my mother was born,

 

sculpting mud for a son

she named carelessly

 

under the bright,

melancholy suicide of dusk.

 

 

 

 

 

Harvest Half Moon

 

If my hands could cross

the harvest of your heart

and leave you untouched

then what business of mine,

this burden of scything

 

this wicked threshing

the thrashing limb of my eye

something separate, unhinged

like the black pearl of a crow

rolling untethered in the socket

 

what dirty oasis, your love

carving half moon love letters

like soured lemon mouths

puckered with impatience, this

impractical orchard you planted

 

in the heat haze of fever,

the flesh swelling like soil

reaching for seed after a dry season,

eager for reason. Eager to remember

purpose. And passion.

 

*****************************************************************************

 

Zachary Kluckman is the Spoken Word Editor for Pedestal Magazine, Associate Editor for The Journal of Truth and Consequence, Director of the Albuquerque Slam Poet Laureate Program and a founding member of the Albuquerque Poetry Festival. His poetry appears in print and on the radio around the world. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his recent publications include The New York Quarterly, Memoir (and) and Cutthroat among others. When he is not untangling string cheese, Kluckman is hard at work on a new manuscript titled “Those Dust Shouldered Ghosts”

Angie3

photo by Angela M Campbell

 

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