Unwound a spool of time hung it up to cure
amid blush and white roses enquiring of light
patterned waffles of almond-brown soil
sable-tipped palm tree fronds
big sigh of escaping cars
feet whine, eye lids flicker
waylaid by calluses of malaise,
desire to clasp something/anything
knowing that would allow appeasement
mind ravenous mmmrrhh
lay imaginary foot prints on pavement
set toes in front of each other, step, step off
a mile later, wonder why that didn’t come to mind before
After Paul Celan
We have met the enemy and he is us.
- Pogo by Walt Kelly
Gouge at them, dig-heave, dig-ho
Exit through the fire escape
the open window, the gaping door
Leave me atriums, bay windows
and balmy weather
Reflexively cringe and breathe them
Seeing, breathe them and breathe them
Crow lay, shielded by hostas.
Featherless patches, white down silence.
Moments sieve by, seconds rest.
Comrades flock on grass
code-cacophony honoring the fallen.
Black mass: yowling
visible hand unified in bereavement.
Isn’t that something?
brood clouds linger
with bitter chocolate stalagmites
loll in the cavern of mouth
read this as self and other poison
labor to remedy unconscious roots torn
--a home more natural
old sign painter beyond breaking
silence he plunges
evicts the air
sun: a red ball
Elaine Woo is a poet, librettist, and comics creator. Her debut book is Cycling with the Dragon (Nightwood Editions 2014). Her poems are in Grain, Arc Poetry, carte blanche, CWILA's S/tick, NationalPoetryMonth2017.ca: Angel House House Press, The Ottawa Poetry Newsletter, and h&. Poems are will be published in the fall in _Prism Internationa_l and Experiment-O. The poems appearing in The Elephants are from a second manuscript. She resides in Cascadia.
This originally appeared on November 1, 2017