Head, Perhaps Of An Angel
- by Debora Greger 50limestone, with traces of polychromy, c. 1250
Point Dume was the point,
he said, but we never came close,
no matter how far we walked the shale
broken from California.
had slipped, hanging itself by a vine
from the cliffs of some new Babylon
Drowning the words,
the wind didn't fling back in our faces,
the Pacific washed up a shell:
around an alabastron
of salt water for the dead,
seaweed rustled its papers, drying them out,
until it died. Waves kept crashing
into the heart
of each shell
I held to my ear like a phone,
but they were just the waves of my blood.
And through it all
I heard him say,
how could it be nine months ago
his grandson had taken his own life,
somewhere back east?
He was fifteen.
O Pacific, what good is our grief?
Something screamed at the sandy child
who poured seawater
into a hole.
Child, you'll never empty the ocean,
Augustine said. How can I believe?
The wet fist of a wave
dissolved in sand.
Like a saint, a seagull flapped down the beach
in search of something raw—an angel
with an empty pail?
No, a teenage boy,
hands big as a man's, held a sea slug
quaking like an aspic. Under a rock, another
drew into its body
larger than itself. Live, said Death,
to child and childless alike, indifferently.
I am coming.
A Woman on the Dump
- by Debora Greger 4Is it peace,
Is it a philosopher's honeymoon, one finds
On the dump?
Out of the cracks of cups and their handles, missing,
the leaves unceremoniously tossed, unread,
from a stubble of coffee ground ever more finely
into these hollowed grounds,
the first shift coaxes bulldozers to life,
sphinxes to tease the riddled rubble
into fresh pyramids of rot. A staleness warms enough
to waft round the lord of all purveyed.
His to count the hauls past the yawning gates
of this New Giza into the Middle Kingdom's
Late Intermediate Period. There, to purify,
to honor ourselves, we beg these offerings
of refuse be cast out. To the archaeologist
of the far-flung future, enough evidence
in the inscriptions to identify most owners:
spells scratched on the backs of envelopes
to be read out before animal sacrifice,
the milk, ground meat, beer, and soap
joined in this hereafter with the feast's remains.
Over tomatoes splitting their sides,
over a teacup stained with roses
flattened into mosaic petal from petal,
earthmovers move a little mountain
and, having moved it, move on,
overturning a diamond sprung from its ring,
glitter to a magpie's covetous eye.
If the art of loneliness is landscape,
armload by carload of black-bagged leaves,
landfill contours its likeness.
Poems by Debora Greger, Debora Greger's poems collection. Debora Greger is a classical and famous poet (1949 - / Walsenburg / Colorado). Share all poems of Debora Greger.
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