Thursday, February 3, 2011

russian rouletting

by jamie criss

and what could be said?
or what could be heard?
through thin as paper walls,
icy sheets of snow, dark 
distances, blanketed 
telephone receivers with 
no end. staring blankly
at computer screens,
empty; or quite filled
with people staring. dirty 
bedsheets, open books,
cold foggy early morn
air and the air. stolen
bracelets, colored fingertips,
the writing on my arm,
my hand cursing my mouth
and the circled students
saying first impressions
with hats and glasses;
campuses. green jacketed
livres of love poems with 
cute phrases and "oh i miss
thee." come with me. 
internet chats and stifled 
speaking, breathing heavily,
anticipation, waiting,
balancing, concentration,
meditation, mindfully
praying. legs bent, hands to 
heart and sweating.
russian orthodox wedding and
russian rouletting. 
cold and hot fever; february 
receiver. betty friedan sits on 
the bedside table saying,
tiny moving pictures, projections
on a wall. blonde headed children
and memories flashing; blinking,
in super eight millimeter.
packing up portraits, moving 
out of the house on camden road.
the moon coming in my window,
like a good luck charm.
laying and swaying; the void.
i saw the music, like layers of
lace on top of each other.
kneeling by tree stumps,
with bundles of white alysum, 
scuffing my feet, wishing not
to be seen. oh, holy empires,
oh, holy wonders. dark eyes,
configures, confinement
and ultimately freedom.
doing things slowly, opening
lockets, reaching hands out 
of pockets. lemonade stand 
pictures, unfocused, 
remembering home; thyself.
and ultimately freedom.
kool-aid and kisses, sparkles,
scuffed knees and hold me.
collecting small paychecks and
watching time come coolly for
ultimately freedom. 

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