Monday, June 1, 2009

Christine Garren

Message 41

this is my death chamber
the leaves―gas walls, green and thick―
the valves let in
the vapors’ chemicals―
the witnesses are
the birds―
if it is day, I hope the wind is up
if it is night, the moon’s yellow knuckle
a black callus―
this is my death chamber―the passion that brought me to it


Brief yet amaranthine,
what’s left is this
wreckage everywhere―torn valves and surgeries
broken bank accounts, whole rooms pressed
into a landfill, the churches where we went, those programs
left. And now, next door, the neighbor’s daughter
has a party every August
as her mother did. This year the strung-up animal is a donkey
being beaten
in the elms.

The Woven Message

come hide near me
I’ll count however long I need to count the insects in the web―
I like
the still living ones―that beat of wing I hear
the still turned-on
ignition of the firefly―I see one’s underbelly
on and off―come hide near me, somewhere in this wild grove,
in its umbra green
my mind turns down the bed

The Given Message

this is the passion of leaving―the calm, inner―
there are no goodbyes, just freedom
I do not hear music other than the wind―I do not hear
God’s owl―
my life un-draws itself
dumb―the ash leaf is
my skeleton―
who is there―one finds no one, not God, not relative―
and yet everywhere
the door, the stain of day,
the barge-like movement of a cloud

The Jeweled Message

the day is a jewel―its air is green and blue―it shimmers
a diamond broach―I feel its needle
stab me
while I talk about the mind’s heights and steep
descents―so sudden
the fall is―
elevator like―the dark glistening cables, the smell
of black grease―these cliffs are like the mind’s
I navigate―
they have the birds of evening in their halls

-all poems previously published at Story South

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