Two poems by Mike Walker


R y a n

in keeping this covenant ˜- we must remember,
must sort through clouds of cold events as
December rounds a deep, dark, bend ˜- as all
soft things are reclaimed to their source of birth
˜-nothing genial stands sturdy but all is kept away.

Ryan ˜- you were fleeting in the time-line, not
so sudden as a meteor but swift enough for me˜-
what grace was rigid in you was fine to suffer while
what lacked thereof was a cavern better to discover.
you, who demeaned his birth via the vandalism of benefaction.

I don't write these words to delineate beauty ˜- or to slight it;
I've fallen out behind you and I'll now be reckoning by it.


this boy

all that seems important to me is˜-
this boy ˜whom I usually write of in the second person
but tonight I merge with him in a snapping moment so
he can accompany me in the descent and in the harshest
ways that I see myself I can now include him, too˜-
I am with him here as to have nothing between us.

it's further from him than it could ever be from me˜-
this boy, has meant more to me than anyone and I can't say why
except that forward from the day in the first season I knew of him
he carried every headlong product of adolescence about his body;
forward into what night I never really knew, but forward.
he had this voice like a child's ˜-a power all its own-˜ and he could
sing upward into reverse timelines, a fortune separated from him˜
it spoke of my life and that of thousands and thousands others.
so these words ˜-that voice˜- it was the boy choir's shout
˜this tenderness found only under its immediacy.

future to the front ˜- bouncing over the safety known
to hold us back from looking straight up into the sky.
this boy was not once afraid to write it out exactly˜-
he never failed to shake me alert before truth slipped away.
we must take a little time to let our wounds dry up; right now
the microbes would pass through the layers like a jellyfish
would glide in the warm water, stinging swimmers along its way.
this boy, his wounds, they were not normal wounds but like
dog bites too deep to suture closed without maybe leaving
the demons of infection locked deep into flesh where they
would multiply and gather forever until death of the host.

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