Two poems by Mark Waclawiak

Paintings of a Dead Lover


Anna in Manhattan, playing
the flute in a melting room.
Rats push to the front,
to the subway door,
caught under the air they
suffocate during the C flat.


Anna in Vermont, naked on
the sheepskin, next to an
iron stove. Firemen wait
outside for a chance
to fight the heat, the land
is breaking under the snow,
the hills give up and
sigh away the towns.


Anna in Ithaca, dreaming
nightly of gorges. She
lays on the stone bridge
as the snow falls, wanting
only to melt in the beak of
a crane, left to turn in
the bed of a creek.


Anna in Utica, wandering
the train tracks with a half
cracked brain. Home opened
its doors and let the children
play, the concrete sidewalk is
a devout mother, the nails in
the grass crumble when touched.


Anna in the air, clouds
keep reaching, keep
breaking apart. Seagulls from
the pacific coast are
called to save the moon
from himself, he plans
to swan dive, proving his love.


old man

My father taught me about fire
by putting my hand on a
burning stove. Once my
teeth covered the floor.
I was a boy, and as I grew
I wandered the forest
outside my window,
in the darkness,
past the mushrooms
blooming from stumps
and the flowers singing
within the rotting trunks,
there was an old man
weeping in an empty cabin.
He was a ghost. The cabin
was a ghost.

More poetry at Used Furniture.

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