You can, you realize, not say what you think,
and sometimes, not say what you have thought all along
in that operative fashion into which words have been put.
Though, such language seems far more real than the one
lumped in your throat, not uncomfortably lumped, mind you,
but wound around itself, nevertheless, like a ball of vibrant red yarn
the color of your adolescent dress, cut off just above the knees.
Paying attention to the ways a ball of red yarn unrolls itself
when you accidently drop it is not unlike the seductive shock
the unraveling of your private language evokes as it un-lumps itself
on your tongue, when invited. Rolling over your shoulder, your words
clutch his arm, enter her ear, and before you know it, they traverse
the room and slide under the door to lock fingers with dew’s translucency.
This very moment, adolescent self-possession dispossesses
itself of all operational hems, bones, and orifices, and transfers
its indisputable vibrancy to the red poppies that defy
their melancholic bend for a few more days.
WHAT IF A TREE COULD CORRODE EXACTLY LIKE METAL?
What if a tree could corrode exactly like metal? If driftwood became the new history book,
tell of pasts dislodged we’d otherwise never get to know?
What if history were framed in one huge painting or film, chiseled into one single sculpture,
or expressed in one opera, one symphony, or one fugue, before our ears and eyes exploded?
Do we prefer withering over blasts? Chairs over couches? Hands over feet? Skin over hair?
Gray over rust? Contests with things over contests with our memories?
In the best of all worlds we’d have some rhubarb pie in a sky that holds a slanted piece of
old metal, some withering cardboard, a drifting pencil, and a great deal of clouds moving in
Gerburg Garmann, a native of Germany, teaches German and French at the University of Indianapolis. Her poems and translations of poems as well as her artwork have appeared in various magazines and anthologies around the world.
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