Here I am on a road of rising stone and leaves when I see you and stop. Heart beat – who could you be? A single fissure in the core may know the mind that passes through my bones, when the words upon your brow break my breath in half. This is no year of the crab. This is the lion in flight, the end in sight – the pathway ends with the gulp of shoes, which skid to a swift halt. Sloping fall contains nothing like those heaven shoes contain. Breath backfires into breath – the systematic body handed spare batteries. Rain kisses skuttle the stone. I can breathe again.
I want to hold all things at once caught snug between forefinger and thumb. never again to let tears slink languidly down an empty face. The wave rears up in turmoiled angst to crash upon the heart of the pale surfer who waits trusting no one around her. Have the lessons been written that must be learned? Oh, little mouse. You have taught the world to cater their whims to the toothpick, to loathe your litany just as you do. Clutching the ocean in a hollow fist is your way to hold it in. Half escapes and falls to the seafloor and half absorbs forever more.
Josie Rozell is a Hawaii-based writer and poet, and winner of the 2018 AWP Journals Award for her piece, “Icarus and I”, near-death in Bosnia 30 years after the Bosnian Civil War. She is the managing editor of the Hawai’i Review of Books and the author of Articulated Soul (2021) and the forthcoming American sonnet collection, Deep Breath (summer 2022) from Ambitious Storytellers. Google “Josie Rozell poetry” for more or visit her literary madhouse: www.thehydrogenjukebox.com.