LA | NY A Special Edition of The East Village

Sean Killian

Stem of Stemming
     10.5.99. Ctsk.

You and I memorized the alphabet
that hides every further development
lost on purpose in a closet lavish with wits
parable of fears that may remain dormant
between owl and blindness in a rush
the oven sun where weather is learned by touch
or you'll eat your way out

The cocoon stage like a dim nose of
an eve peering from the ruins of a college
of unbroken word, now the unfulfilled
only a poking reticence as the book
stays closed, the notes untaken or a
wreath of memory floating-off seems a
paranoia acerbic and burnt, though laurel'd

if now between us is a nothingness
never separate, what maturity forks
over: I know no more sleep! The crevice
of sleep is blown up! It is a trampled souvenir!
No course in miracles but snow's leaving
of its torch midair where nobody goes --
until you pilot your own geode and skull

crooked head out of the muddy currents
the inside brave stillness impasse
of a bed maybe it was a stick not
a snake maybe it was a hand not the
skeleton of a tree, scare-babe silence
in the hot summer sensing, hope tearing
the fabric that floats off, losing
definition, rote if only to demand
attention, sleeping into the scandal

of absentmindedness, death the gorge
where a copperhead or cottonmouth might
swim or stick its head, taking these dreams
into its serpentine, its own sentient slip
past day's literacy into afternoonıs confusions

here now, you and I ... you and I ...

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