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Category archive for: Richard Foerster

Smoke Tree

            Cotinus coggygria

I was hiking half a world from home

when I saw a smoke tree on the trail ahead

smolder into a lather of light, plush

as powder in the heat-choked air—

and clustered along spinules, thin

as capillaries, a tiny arson flared,

then rose into a stratosphere

where the ash of all I was and had

was rushing toward some distant ground

I’d planted once with such as this

in memory of someone dead, and from

that half a world away, a cloud returned

faltering with rain: I was no longer sad.

from The Burning of TroyFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2006
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Minotaur

A maze, into which

eyes, peering,

must adjust: a door

latched, and another,

then one left open for

the as-yet timid

to enter, dim-lit

as the dead, wandering,

girded in white chitons,

as much the uniform

here as silence:

the cul-de-sac

these men seek

for thundering hearts,

each trailing his thread

of yesterdays, to ravel

a way out into light,

to whatever he thought he was

before fingers began

to smell of semen and sweat,

before his throat swelled

in unenunciated prayer,

that gurgle of remembering before

the past snaps like string.

from The Burning of TroyFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2006
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

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