by Emily Shearer
“Don’t bother me, I have just been born.”
I plan to stop for no one.
I have a life to go and follow.
For then I meet you
again and again.
Sometimes running through the meadow
And I lay
my satchels full of snakes and candy
gum drops, books and aches and maps
to distant whistle-stops, their train songs which haunt/lull/guide
me through the landmines of this life,
at my feet
in the long grass and
take your hand, cracked for the toil,
in one of mine,
your bristly jaw in the other
and I don’t know yet
what we’ll say
to each other
or maybe the silence
will fill the moment of rebirth
that happens each time
we find each other
covered in vernix
borne and alive
to the other,
two infants in a field, two travelers,
two dance hall boot-scooters looking for a cold beer
and a bed to put our boots under.
Not a bother.
I’ll go on being born.
We’ll go on
sharing our lanterns, our loads,
When I think of what you do that goes unnoticed,
diaper-changing comes to mind, seed-sowing and also
arson. Lighting a match and dropping it fast,
setting fire and running towards disaster.
Trouble and soup. You distill oils,
shore up pantries and cellars of canned beans
next to bricks and bombs. I’ve seen you crumple instructions,
trash and fish them out again,
smooth their creases as cotton sheets. Where you make my bed, I lie in it.
Where you unfurl curls of words, weave webs of wherewithals,
You appear as a net.
You conjugate the wind, you conjure mistakes
from perfect ribbons—typewriter, grosgrain, Christmas.
Flight derives itself from your feathers. Entire canons are composed
when you uncage canaries. You’re a syndicate
for choir directors everywhere; on your go signal,
little children sing their nervous melodies. You sweeten the tea of strangers
as well as you drop mercury in the baptismal font.
In the morning, you shape dough into bread. In the evening, you give it away
to the birds in the front yard
when hungry men are lining up at the back door.
Where you lift or fold in prayer, I dodge the veil, fold my breathing body
to form a shelter for all the tented blessings you’ve bestowed. You lift or mudra
secrets, covetousness, the stigmata of a messianic complex,
a pyromania beyond your control. I should thank you,
a round of applause, a high-fiving yourself, for dousing out water,
when we all know it was you who lit the flame.
Emily Shearer is an ex-pat poet and yoga/French/writing teacher outside Houston, TX. She’s a fried-chicken-biscuit and a flute of Prosecco, followed by a barefoot boogie-woogie hallelujah with a dash of piss, vinegar and moody blues. Her poems have been twice nominated for a Pushcart and the Best of the Web, shortlisted for the McCabe Poetry Prize, University of Houston Robertson Prize and Orison Anthology prize and published in Silk Road Review (forthcoming), Please See Me, jellybucket, The Poeming Pigeon Sports Edition, Fiolet & Wing, emry’s journal online, psaltery & lyre, West Texas Literary Review, Clockhouse, and Ruminate, among others. She has conversed with Viennese ghosts, photographed Mexican iguanas and wild horses in their native habitats, witnessed reincarnation and written about it all. You can find her on the beaches of North Carolina, the hilltops of Prague, the sidewalk cafes of any French-speaking country or on the web at bohemilywrites.net.