Monday, December 24, 2012

A Poem by James Owens


But how could I have
returned to you?
How? When
the memory
of fingertips
still burned my face
like bars of sunlight
falling heavily
through autumn shadows,
and behind ordinary
things the colors
of the world
were memories
of the angels’ touch?

I am trying to speak.
I couldn't return ---
not with this desire
shivering in me like a drenched
child. This longing
for a breath
to tear me open.
This lust that will
slice me into color.

I didn't speak. I turned
from you. I drifted
into the trees. I saw
the lovers kiss, and they
fell into each other
and blew away, sand
on the ancient wind,
turning deeper
into the blue wind
and the sky
and the sky
and the sky
James Owens divides his time between Wabash, Ind., and Northern Ontario. Two books of his poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, reviews, translations, and photographs have appeared widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in The Cortland Review, The Cresset, Poetry Ireland, and The Chaffey Review. He blogs at

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