Wednesday, April 20, 2005

2 Poems Ana Bozicevic-Bowling

Lessons in Athens

Visiting your southern hometown
in the odd season that doesn't spell snow,
but an absence of leaves, better to provoke
thoughts to fill it in.
Wounded by cars and dinner,
mind goes on unfurling like the tip of a stone tongue
paving a way over a hill as the hill grows darker,
and a dream more serious takes the dais,
the schoolmaster
who points in the depth of the moving board
a diagram of yous to memorize.
He fingers a worn chalk line
to a converted church where a sleeping bag
sinks under the brown of water,
and on the branch swimming through the rapids
a stag beetle wearing your face
nestles, carried deeper into

After the Fall

You say you met him at a Christmas party,
found him under the tree, as it were, the one
that grows taller and darker
every time you tell the story;
and those first words also
glittered like something found and lost and found
at the tree's base, in the desert
of wrapping ribbons blackening with frost.
The way he said Oh the first time was gently studied;
that, you forgave. The way
he then said Oh stung like an elastic band
snapping him from the back into a past
that didn't smell of you. The wolves
shuffled, wood-bound deeper in those leafy irises,
stamping over the crumb trail, but you were
already outside. You felt the relief
of one squeezing past the door
that opens to the wrong side,
out of the soul's toilet stall. Even the way
he didn't look over had something to do with you.
So somehow you fell into belonging
and the whole smoldering game-set complied;
the tablecloth was a gallery wall
framing the portrait-hands of seated friends, so lifelike
you couldn't disbelieve them; and the windows, too,
childishly eager to lasso you in
dimly showed through onto that open-air
prize memory, the hanging platform
where you waited on the subway, age fifteen, and smoked
leaning against the scaffold corroding into maps
of rusty continents, living up to dock soul and eyes
at this table, where the main thing could begin.