Sarajevo Snow

By | 30 June 2008

as shells purr through darkness tomcat black
my palms read the stone between blasts
your letter folded twice over in my hip pocket
worthy of pilgrimage through fated streets

the summer dark turned to glory
I crawl into the square flames moon-high
a nation's books ignited
the library's roof splintering into the shy night
as facades lean in with the solidarity of age
cannon fire makes mockery of faith
and men like molten insects draw water from Miljacka river
to spit and sigh with impotence
sirens beginning their birdless choir

you wait on the other side by your silenced phone
facing a courtyard ringed with cacti your grandmother tends with deftness
not a drop shed
and I think of succulents the prick of mishandled devotion
breathe deep then run head down nape exposed to the shifting sky
a slalom of winking-eyed debris catching the light
to the other side
the cobbles salted with snow on this febrile night
I trace a circle in this summer fall and find it ashen
as more settles on my shoulder like a familiar bird
from a sky turned crematorium
a millennia of words on the charred wind

I stick out my tongue to catch a floating phrase

desire for the world has deprived man
of the object of his desire

turn skyward to face the fall
Rumi hung from my lips

your letter safe against bone

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