Phoebus Apollo, cascade your light
around the dreary onlookers singing,
singing for the smooth edges of their many cracked bones,
for their children moving off the jagged rocks,
for the perishing of wasps in autumn,
and for the loss of those who pretended their hearts were pure.
Twice I fell away from all I knew.
Twice in one year the earthquake-volcano-tsunami
erupted, sickening my house, my loved ones
and all my belongings.
There I bent like a moist twig,
rose out of the waters, slug-like, cold like
the first touch of hot hot fire.
Once more God’s name is intricate, exact,
washing me aimless in my once
Once more, every bridge is broken, the waters
swell, jut onto, swallowing, the shore.
My fear is a razor frantically cutting.
My panic is plural, multiplying,
tightening its barb-wire around my chest, throat,
and my eyes are hurting, pinprick pain when they open,
my eyes when they open
have gone silent, silent, blank.
Copyright © 2021 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Chicago Record Magazine” March 2021
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