Friday, September 25, 2015

Three Poems by James Diaz

Apple of My Cry

America, I hope you know what your doing
twisting our souls out of shape
to venture toward dry land
further in forest
why not blow out the light
on this altruistic cobble stone
nothing for nothing
safe keeping
me awake at night

every one I love is a nightmare
waiting to happen
see this is the difficulty in getting to know people
they will lay down in traffic
to get a rise out of you
after you've given your last coat and shoe
the ground opens up and takes you there
haven't you seen it all before?
The one with the biggest smile has the most to prove every time.

Last Night I Dreamt that We had Never Met

Some of you are paradise birds
but no one has a nickel to their name
as I knew a man with too many secrets
I vowed to leave everything of my own
out in the open

I walked seven days
and met no familiar faces
thought of Caroline
and wept a little
scuffed my boots
sweeping along
the other side of the world

so you know
I never thought unkind of anyone
man woman or child
but when you went into those low hills
with your mother's name stitched on the inside of your dress
my letters all scatter burnt
and built a house where river met river
where I could not follow
I was a bitter man with no place to go
and some unkind words
they did escape me.

Happy Endings

breath stitched against breath

though the shortest distance
is always the one we put ourselves in

that in memory some days you will laugh
to yourself
or the company you keep
how in love with life's other blessings we were then
before the bomb of misalignment hit

how we shuttered with relief

to be unfinished things
standing by the side of the highway
with informal hard luck smiles
and kiss me I won't fall asleep ever
lest I forget the land too well
under bad light the water pouring in
keep what you can't catch

how so many days keep coming
one right after the other
the longest night and you wouldn't believe how we made it through
when we had no light or names between us
say it was mercy
but I don't buy the happy ending
I can't afford it

James Diaz lives in New York.  You can read more of him in The Idiom, Abramelin, Miriam's Well, Pismire, and Record Magazine.

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