A Dull Knife
I am profoundly sad today.
Shadows grew longer, overnight
and the odor of autumn
can be discerned in the final
glowing embers of summer’s inferno.
The house, it seems
already smells of winter-
stale rooms and stagnant air
heavy with pernicious glances
as we stalk each other like cats
through spaces inhabited
by dreams of commonality,
now worn common by familiarity.
And I cry, seemingly, for all things today.
The grief of unwed turtles
preparing for hibernation, I own.
Plus the tears of plovers
adding salt to the ocean, as the birds
set their gaze on eroding shorelines
Chief Joseph said, “My heart is sick and sad”
and I know what he meant.
Each measured breath only reminds me
I am closer to my last.
I ponder old people lost in their minds
and children with no futures;
and I think my nation has decided, we no longer
will stand to be counted.
…maybe it is more than one summer
that is dying.
I have been told,
some tears are prayers.
But I no longer feel the presence
of anything but my own thoughts
How does one return to the sacred?
I long to split this skin open
with my own hand,
to escape its smothering confines
to become larger than my limitation
more than my Self
Live three times at once,
blaze my comet across this world’s sky.
I would catalog dreams in ounces
if I thought the process had merit;
but this knife appears too dull for cutting-
my words are too short
to reach an audience,
and they die lonely deaths each day;
like this summer coming to close.
I can see this desire’s demise
in each crumbling road repaired
a little less each year,
and in every wise elderly matron
left by neighbors
to wither away in the loneliness
of the obsolete,
her pleas for a single listener
patted away by gentle but firm hands
“there there- just drink your tea,
we’ll come back tomorrow.”
And when I am honest
while counting heartbeats,
in the still terror of the night
the decayed sickly sweet
smell of uselessness
is the scent on the winter breeze,
and it scares me
By Marie Anzelone
Marie Anzalone currently splits her time between residences in New England and upstate NY in the United States and Guatemala in Central America. Originally from Appalachian Pennsylvania, she spent her early years studying ecology and nature first-hand in the woods around her home. She is an artist, scientist, writer, economics master’s degree candidate, avid outdoorswoman and start-up director of an international development non-profit organization. She has been published in human rights journals, scientific journals, and poetry anthologies. She writes fiction and non-fiction in both English and Spanish. She attempts in her writing to bridge the gap between real world influence and the individual’s inner journey to find spirit and meaning. Anzalone released two collections of poetry in 2014. Her debut collection is called A Pilgrimage in Epistles:: Poems as Letters and Observations. Her sophomore offering is titled Peregrinating North-South Compass Points: Poems in English and Spanish.