Poetry at Sangam



SWERVING by Michael Kelleher

Particles. At the heart of things.
Indissoluble Lucretian forms.
Recombinant joys. The diorama.
We look out from. Wandering.
Urban woodland. Scoping out.
Fellow utopians. In retrospect.
Everything was so. Lifelike. Even.
And especially. That strange pair.
Of humans. Other side of the glass.
The way we felt. Standing.
In a room. In that museum.
Surrounded by. Floating blocks.
Of color. Ethereal. Murderous.
But this. We discovered. Was prologue.
And when that famous actor.
Died. You said. You dreamed.
Of motorcycles. For days. You said.
It was time. We counted clouds.
Thus began. The discourse.
Of autonomous hands. As in.
The film. Where the hands do.
What the mind can’t. Imagine.
There is. Inside all things. You said.
An emptiness. Post-industrial sunsets.
Reflect. On crystalline mountain lakes.
A parade goes by. Outside. Our view.
All at once. The many. Marchers.
Let go. Their balloons. So many.
In fact. They form. A kind of cloud.
Obscuring. Momentarily. The sun.
And the wind. Moves. As the river.
Moves. Driven. By forces. Unseen.
The dishes. Have all been broken.
Thrown. Against the wall. The rage.
The missing. Unfaithful. Traitorous.
Absent. Other. Missing still.
You turn. To me. Tears in your eyes.
And say. I remind you of that actor.
Your heart. You say. Is counting.
Down. Not. As you’d hoped.
Keeping time. A lotus blossom.
Opens. A cloud of mayflies.
Falls. To the ground. Like snow.
Past the giant oaks. Past the lindens.
Past the pines. We roam. The immeasurable.
Cosmos. The flap. Of a pigeon’s wing.
Echoes. Inside. The cathedral dome.
An old man. Outside. Shoos away. Crows.
And what. Do we report. If not.
Our constant. Close reading. Of the sky.
And the red cow. On the black hill.
Can feel it. The city of glass. Inside us.
Is fragile. The song. In the garden.
Fragile too. I breathe. On a coin.
Stamped. With the likeness. Of God.
The finishing touch. Touches down.
Lightly. On my cheek. The blow.
The coup de grace. Registers. Hardly at all.