Friday, February 5, 2021

Two Poems, by Lillian Nećakov

 

Wreckhouse Winds

It was a lie we told for years. That it had snowed in June of ’67, because we could,
because no one stopped us, because the trees that day, looked as if they were made
of bone or young ice. Because the inaccuracy tasted like snow on our tongues and
coaxed us into believing we were much further from the fracture zone than we were.
It was a cloud song born of broken storm gutters and puddles on the kitchen linoleum.
A thunderclap in place of a backhand on nights when darkness fell as heavy as a city.
It was you and I, weathering the wreckhouse winds, gasping for air, grasping for
sunshine, because the sorrow sprouting from between our fingers, like a tangle of weeds 
was not an anomaly. Because the funnel clouds that formed in our backyard
were simply the architecture that held our father’s fury. Because the world ended
where our driveway met the periwinkles and the constellations looked like they
were held together with safety pins and because 40 light-years away there was
something called a goat star. Because a moon as big as an opera would come
and go in witness of bone being broken into fossil. And the shoals and islets of our
childhoods were like lame animals left neglected under the northern sky, and the
horizon, as thin as a sheaf of wheat bridled all the madness of the killing frost.
It was a lie we told for years because it was you and I, lilting under the whisper of
the aurora borealis in wait of grace.

 


Ōkunoshima

We remove our shoes before entering the poison gas museum
you whisper Usagi Jima and the sky fills with watermarks
a flatus slips through the ginkgo trees unbuttoning leaf after leaf
until the ground is feathered yellow
later, we will find a secret map wrapped in rabbit fur
and a photograph of a fisher-wife holding a small child
covered in mustard gas
and later still
the cheery captain will ferry us across the Seto Inland sea
along the fog bank
back to Hiroshima
where the sun will scream open-mouthed
against a dandelion wind.

 

 


Lillian Nećakov is the author of six books of poetry, numerous chapbooks, broadsides and leaflets. Her new book il virus is forthcoming from Anvil Press (A Feed Dog Book) in April 2021. In 2016, her chapbook The Lake Contains an Emergency Room was shortlisted for bpNichol chapbook award. During the 1980s she ran a micro press called “The Surrealist Poets Gardening Association” and sold her books on Toronto’s Yonge Street. She ran the Boneshaker Reading series from 2010-2020. She lives in Toronto and just might be working on a new book.

 

 

 

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