Written by Ron Kozloff

 

Black and white is cold,

Correctly cold.

The bare sky a smudge

Forbidding entrance.

A bird passing overhead and

Disappears.

The air as quiet as stone.

In the middle distance

In a wash of absence

A figure appears like a solitary

Hair on a skull.

The camera intrudes on

a man

In a long dark coat standing as

Still as death

Surrounded by impersonal space.

Vacant eyes stare into a glass world.

 

Where is the garden, the apple tree?

Where is the touch?

This might as well be the moon

Or a planet of silver

Remember the smoke

The grim parade

The separation,

How?

 

He is as stuck in place as a tree,

No step available in any direction

Outside the realm of history.

 

They promised.

Oh, well…

 

Nothing forms on his face.

By force of habit a machine still works

Inside of him and he shifts with its engine.

 

The other side.

 

Brief glimpses of a hand, his mother’s,

The dress she wore on his twelfth birthday.

He is blowing the candles in a picture that was taken

Of the event.

 

It is possible!

 

Below

looks as inviting as wool although it is made of snow.

Then his view is pasted over with streaks of black shutters, like when the eyes

Blink too fast and the thought disappears.

 

An ocean opens with a sigh, there is fanfare and happy applause

on the other side of it, a choir of ruddy faces cheer like summer,

breaking down the cold

 

At last, an opening…

 

There is a rustle of excitement in the notion as when a gift

Is being undressed

But the body still resists. The machine will not give way.

It is frozen in its atmosphere.

 

What if the package is empty, she is not even there

There are no swimming souls either

It was all a mistake made by apes?

 

You are left with bats’ wings instead, and motor complaints,

Vinegars

And graduating degrees of spirit ache.

 

What if they keep you awake?

 

Or nothing, much like this and less, and you have no way of knowing:

Eternal discontent.

 

Not there.

A gust of wind catches him on the cheek.

He thinks he will wait.

 

Text © Ron Kozloff

 

 

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