AH, BUT THIS IS NOT POETRY, YOU SAY

And a father sells his nine-year-old daughter in marriage to a sixty-year-old man and tells his screaming wife Get back inside, you donkey!

Ah, but this is not poetry, you say.

And a child’s arm is blown off when a guided missile smashes into an apartment block.

Ah, but this is not poetry, you say.

The humiliated stand silently in small groups, waiting for re-education to begin.
Repeat after me: I am guilty on all counts.

Ah, but this is not poetry, you say.

Any minute now, nothing will happen.

It’s always about the unsaid.

Out of the window, blackberries not quite ready.
The grass, kept long for bugs and butterflies, moves slowly
as drizzle begins after weeks without rain.

In the haunted interior of his own personality
the imprisoned man hears the footsteps of those who will beat him.

A house will be there until it’s not.
The path grief takes is never easy to understand.
Desire is sometimes a muddle, too.
Yes, yes, we’ve all been there: the clear blue waters, the white boat
moving slowly away into the haze of the morning sun, a lover
sitting on a terrace, slowly eating a pastry and sipping coffee.

Do you remember, that day, where were we, I can’t quite remember, anyway
I wrote down what that man at the next table said, yes, here it is, he put down his book and declared :
In certain spa towns, priests are available to cure certain proclivities and disharmonious disorders. In return for a modest donation, they will immerse an ill person daily for an entire month.

Nobody ever goes back, not truly back.
The wake of the boat washes against the wall of a warehouse.
Climb aboard, take your chance.
If you try to avoid the water, even after the rivers, the seas, run dry,
it will come looking for you.
We are hidden, each of us, but not well enough.
We say too much.

Ah, but this is not poetry, you say.

A man in blue overalls rolled down to his waist and a white vest smeared with juice runs for cover as the sirens sound.

Ah, but this is not poetry, you say.

She was like a mother to me, says the woman, weeping.

Ah, but this is not poetry, you say.

The nine-year-old girl is carried away, her father counts his coins.

Ah, but this is not poetry, you say.



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