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Song of Some Ruins

It’s no use walking the beasts of my longing without you, compañero,
you whose name means stone the sun

moves across. Remember our house, and the statuary of clouds
drifting through the rooms? And the sheets and blankets of our habits,

and ourselves two hounds lying down. We loved
like we fought, slugging our way toward each other,
sending up flares to announce our advance. And when our city

burned, we stood in the ashes, and admired each other’s
bodies. Now I ask you: how will we manage

without the steadiness of our long unhappiness?
Can you say you don’t miss our furious
putting up with each other? The silver waves
go on polishing themselves. The sun goes down
alone. Tell me: is this
as it should be? My body goes on

without you burnishing its crevices. Without
your faults, there is no salt. I will not again be fat.
Even my hair will abandon me, like a woman walking away

until you can’t see her. So what
if I’m given other dawns? I ache
for the grandeur of uproar. Light

brings on its armadas of taxis and butterflies,
and I’m forced to go into the street

and talk to agreeable strangers.

Copyright © 2015 by Marilyn Krysl. Originally published in Prairie Schooner in 2015. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 by Marilyn Krysl. Originally published in Prairie Schooner in 2015. Used with permission of the author.

Marilyn Krysl

by this poet

poem
Looking back now, I see 
I was dispassionate too often, 
dismissing the robin as common, 
and now can't remember what 
robin song sounds like. I hoarded
my days, as though to keep them 
safe from depletion, and meantime 
I kept busy being lonely. This 
took up the bulk of my time, 
and I did not speak to
poem

I was so small, so very much afraid.
I prayed my father might turn into light.
There was no price that I would not have paid

to pray the way the light knelt down and prayed.
I prayed that I might learn to be like light,
but I was small, and very much afraid,

and he stayed silent. Was

poem

Scent of Plumeria, and the smell of burning.
Not one or the other, but both. Destruction, and the blossom.
Sweetheart, I'm afraid. That boy with the rifle breaks
the catechism in two. And in two. Let me
see us whole, beside the sea. My body
busy, paying