Monday, August 27, 2012

Her Wedding Day by Olivia Davis

It’s been 12 years now
since you left me
to face this life alone.
Why did you have to leave?

We were only forty.
To some, forty is old.
But to us our life was spread out,
the possibilities endless.

It was ours for the taking.
Or so I thought.
I didn’t know you were in trouble.
If you were, I would have helped.

You should have known that.
You should have known I would have done
anything and everything for you.
And that’s the honest truth.

I could have helped you get the money
and then you could still be alive.
You could be sitting right next to me,
watching our daughter walk down the aisle.

They say the spirits of loved ones
are always with us.
But I didn’t feel anything
the day you got shot.

I didn’t feel you
when I identified your body.
I didn’t feel your presence at your funeral.
What kind of a husband leaves his wife?

I didn’t even feel you
during our daughters’ high school
and college graduations.
What kind of a father leaves his children?

People think I’m crying
because I’m happy my oldest daughter
is getting married to the man of her dreams.
But the real reason I’m crying

is because I’m thinking about our wedding day
and how happy we both were,
and how much you resembled
the man of my dreams.

You don’t even visit my dreams anymore.
Only once did you visit my dreams.
We were sitting across from each other
in an empty white-walled and white-carpeted room.

You said, “I love you.”
I tried to say it back.
I really did, but the words
wouldn’t come out.

Did you leave me because
I couldn’t say “I love you too”?
What kind of a man
leaves the woman he loves?

What kind of a mother am I
that I am not even happy for my daughter?
I’m too jealous of her.
The man she loves is still love.

Monday, August 13, 2012

All of Us with Roman Bones, On Roman Wheels by Lucas Olson

Most days, I leave the house in search of history,
Trying to trace the blood of aeons.
On some days, I go to Greece.
But I do not go home.

I go to Greece's
marble pantheons and epics
But all I do is walk on cobblestones,
worn with absence and
heavied with the empty frames of chariots.
Greece is always melting,
and I watch as myths unravel.

As the minotaur flies from the labyrinth.
As Icarus sinks.
As Prometheus cools his tired eyes
and gorges himself on haggis.
As Hades spouts burning nonsense from whispery caves.[48]

Because the Empire always steals the stories,
forecloses the temples,
and brings the marble home with them.
All they leave behind are embered ruins.
But even as the fires lick the clouds and consume the bronze mythology,
like a tomb for unknown crimes,
it is not Hell.
Hell is Roman.
Hell is Roman like the rest of us.[49]

All us diverse and tan-faced Romans,
stringing up our history in museums.
The museums are carpeted with time and place,
because all of us Romans want to move.
We want to move in as few steps as possible.

I am a Roman like the rest of you.
I do not want to take small steps.
I want to move as the Romani.[50]

They dance across countries and cultures
under powerlines and suspension bridges.

They have never concerned themselves with the hurricanes whipped up
by the flapping of monarchs.

Brick for brick we all weigh the same.
We all bleed the same clay,
All us Romans.
The same clay we kick up as we pass over
All the same dust ends up
caked on to windows and mirrors.
Or stuck in between the cracks in our bootprints
as we bare ourselves upon our shoulders,
carry our crosses in backpacks,
and wear our history on our ring fingers.

We walk always with our flaws and our pasts,
and as children of the Empire we have many of both.
We have nearly as many futures as histories.
All of them, cobbled or layered in pavement,
winding out in a dusty cobweb from a central point.

And though all our roads may lead there,
I do not go to Rome.[51]