A LITTLE GLINT, A SLASH OF COLOR
The apartment is so still just now.
It is cool and gray outside. The news
speaks of spring, but that seems like a lie
as so many things do these gray days.
The cats, 8 paws touching, are asleep
on our bed. They release everything
when they sleep. The city is awake
but quiet. Lawns and dandelions
are the same, concrete and asphalt are the
same, glass doors and windows are the
same. I will pretend that the cells of
my body are sunlight making the
dishwater sky show a little glint,
a slash of color. The truth is a
rebuke because, in truth, my body
is a box emptied of secrets and
emptied of the slim, crescent moons of my
dreams. That said, I have always loved
pretending. The cells of my body
will have to ignore the realness
of another year about to pass,
the dreary fear of what comes after,
the mirror image that is not, can
not be right. I’ve learned so much less than
I thought I would, garnered less respect
than I hoped for. My underground is
rising to the surface. I defer to
what I have become and admire all
that I am not. I’ve been given a
quiet day; I will give up “what ifs,”
I will give up what I know is true,
pretend color and music then—shine.
Stars are white moths.
They chew through the night sky
until it is eaten up–more holes than sky
and then it is morning again.
Fire is every love affair lost.
It burns through bodies,
leaves ashes waiting for
a Phoenix to rise and take flight
Water is sound.
Words tumbling over each other, words speaking
to words, flashing silverback at the sky, dousing
rocks and souls, hands and mouths.
Earth is a ravenous animal.
It devours everything that steps on it:
rain, petals, lightning, footsteps, spit, tears, blood.
All that touches it becomes a banquet.
Wind is the reminder of love,
of grief, of fear, of longing, of pain, of lungs
filling with the breath of need to speak truly, the
ability to carry what moves below the canyons.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK IN UGANDA*
If mountain gorillas could write,
it would be as if scripture were written on rocks,
as if wastelands could turn tall weeds
into strands of gold,
as if nights and days are of equal darkness,
as if the large silver globe is not the moon
or a newly-discovered star,
as if words spilled from their mouths
and sailed on the ocean like frightened exiles,
like tumultuous multitudes of gulls.
*A protected national park for Mountain Gorillas in Africa
Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is BLUES FOR FRENCH ROAST WITH CHICORY, available now from Deerbrook Editions. She is the author of 6 volumes of poetry and has been included in “The Sixty Four Best Poets of 2018” (Black Mountain Press/The Halcyone Magazine editorial staff).
Newberry has been widely published in literary journals in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles.