isn’t something you do,
it’s something you wear, clean
clothes are easy to take for granted.
Because dinner isn’t something you make,
it’s something you eat, a full gut
is just another need fulfilled.
Because pleasure isn’t something you give,
it’s something you take, sex
has become a lot less frequent.
Because poetry isn’t something you write,
it’s something you read, value
isn’t borne of words.
Because respect isn’t something you earn,
it’s something you demand,
you stand tall enough to cast a shadow.
Because time isn’t something you make,
it’s something you lose, days
always end against your will.
Because angry isn’t something you get,
it’s something you are,
forgiveness is a word you do not understand.
To Cross or Not to Cross
fingers, bridges, boundaries.
The stillness is rhetorical. There
is no answer, no salvaging
punctuation to bottle. Neck
in hand, I begin to lose,
first sight, then sound, tunnel down
into a blue-blank that turns
white as absent aura.
legs, time, over.
The fall was inevitable. Here
is the answer, a saving. Grace
escapes me last, just before
anger and survival
instinct. I remember the dark
cavern of yesterday not as a time,
but as a place, a space occupied
by twins, conjoined at the soul.
I go black when I have travelled too far
into memory’s cave.
eyes, my heart, distance.
The infinite becomes reached
and realized, epiphanic in its vision.
Between is home, neutral
territory for words at war. Behind
my enemy’s lines, I wave
a white flag. Drowning, I
stop the futile flapping
of arms against a current
stronger than both of us.
The color of silence is caramel,
a sticky nothingness dragged through
by repetition of sounds that have already passed,
a trick the brain plays to create stimulation.
A bird chirping, house settling as if breathing
a pause, a pipe, a floorboard, random tap. Repeat
sounds until I can no longer resurrect them
from memory and listen to noises from my own
body. Ears ring a high pitched tune, almost
an octave above capture. Eyelashes scrape
against pillow. Blood moves heavy to heart
and back. Cilia whistles in nasal cavity.
Circular sound of breath. The pattern
won’t hold. Saliva swallowed. Fridge hums.
I imagine traffic a mile away rolling
toward some irrelevant destination.
Woodpecker knocks on dead trunk.
Eyes open and it all disappears.
April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania and is currently working on a memoir on raising a child with autism along with several collections of poetry. Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Award and has appeared in journals such as The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. Her first chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is forthcoming in spring 2015 from Dancing Girl Press. The author serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press (www.kindofahurricanepress.com).