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Poems by Christian Hawkey
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
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Hour with One Hand Inserted in a Time of War

by Christian Hawkey

We dug with our hands & hand shovels.
We dug with our spatulate feet.
& with torsos as our only circumference
we dug a maze. A maze of passageways:
Level Three the Maternity Ward, April
with knees on either side of her chin.
Some thoughts no wider than a chest.
Some thoughts no wider than a chest,
heaving. On Level Six a green parrot opened
its red beak & it reached us, seconds later,
as a roar. Our eyelashes cringed, & lashed back.
We named it the Level of Roaring Parrots
& turned back to our work, carrying sewage out
by moonlight, the buckets light each night
& getting lighter. A gas lamp flickered
beside a makeshift waterfall. Ceilings
of soil shook soil. Joo plucked her eyebrows
with her eyes closed, a kind of faith. &
from the mouth of an infant a cracked nipple
slipped—what minerals are my lips
or packed vegetation my eyes—black coals—
how darkness changes darknesses each time
I blink, & blink again, Level Oneís filling 
with tear gas, swing through the Level of 
Eternal Foliage & seal it off—April you there, 
Yes, Iím here, Octoberís on the Level of Yellow Orioles
Warbling High in the Shadowy Summer Woods
& Gungjeong was last on the Level of Indentations
Left Behind by Falling Snow & should we
stand guard at the Level of One Hand Raised
to Block the Lemon Seed of the Sun
or should we push off, down the tunnels,
dig a hole in the side of a wall & wait?

From Citizen Of © 2007 by Christian Hawkey. Published by Wave Books,
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