poem-a-day

Omens

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, September 26, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I’ve always been fascinated by the archetype of the blind seer or soothsayer, and the fact that my first name means ‘blind.’ That coupled with the vivid, quasi-prophetic dreams I have suffered from ever since I was a child, were natural entryways into this poem. These are turbulent times—with forces of light and dark pressing in on all sides—and I often think about how helpless we feel, not knowing who to turn to for truths. Written during a time when my own life felt tossed at sea, when I was learning to lean a closer ear to my own heart, this poem feels both burdened by seeing, and cracked open by hope.”
—Cecilia Llompart

Omens

The dead bird, color of a bruise,
and smaller than an eye
swollen shut,
is king among omens.

Who can blame the ants for feasting?

Let him cast the first crumb.

~

We once tended the oracles.

Now we rely on a photograph

a fingerprint
a hand we never saw

coming.

~

A man draws a chalk outline
first in his mind

around nothing

then around the body
of another man.

He does this without thinking.

~

What can I do about the white room I left
behind? What can I do about the great stones

I walk among now? What can I do

but sing.

Even a small cut can sing all day.

~

There are entire nights

                                I would take back.

Nostalgia is a thin moon,
                                                              disappearing

into a sky like cold,
                                          unfeeling iron.

~

I dreamed

you were a drowned man, crown
of phosphorescent, seaweed in your hair,

water in your shoes. I woke up desperate

for air.

~

In another dream, I was a field

and you combed through me
searching for something

you only thought you had lost.

~

What have we left at the altar of sorrow?

What blessed thing will we leave tomorrow?

Copyright © 2016 by Cecilia Llompart. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Cecilia Llompart. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.