Tuesday, February 28, 2006

TWO POEMS by Ana Bozicevic-Bowling

(variations on the word "still")

Of winter

Abrupt skin of snow
deceptively warm
on two toilet bowls
orphaned, by the trash bins—

Keep still.
This is the season of porcelain.

O vertical voice.

Where do you speak from?

II. Of water

is out in the yard. He shaves
at the bucket. Something still
quieter takes place
than white hands
in the flat O of water—

on his fingers, he counts
how much he has;
botches the count, then
counts again.

Overturns the bucket.

Of breadth

You with a childhood
being mute in many rooms.

In some, silences
were complicit. Tired, almost.

Some couches and chairs
stood out
a fingernail-width
from the wall,

and the split of darkness at their back

drew your eye in, a
negative treasure. You'd turn,
airless, admonished.

Whatever the gaps
opened to fit, you did
not have it
to give, not yet.

Still, you
understood, asked
that same thing of mother—

her eyes when you did

were a wider make of silence.

At Night the Objects Move In
(Paula speaks)

As sudden as when objects
entered my blood again,
you enter, begin to furnish me.

You and they
arrange yourselves silently
in the blood, like hens on white perches.

Soon you'll start to speak
the wooden language.

(I overhear: a stove-idea
the last memory of your voice
how it was to be cold.)

Then you begin a slow unpacking, pull
the tail end of childhood
out of a stiff pale-leather bag.

Your father
is no larger
than this bowl of pomegranates

Ana Bozicevic-Bowling lives in Brooklyn (New York) & has a chapbook, Morning News, forthcoming shortly from Kitchen Press. At times she translates & often edits RealPoetik. She also runs a blog