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September-October 2009

Two poems by Lillian Nećakov

Lillian Nećakov

Strolling on borrowed ankles

Tapping stones together means
you are not a couch potato
memories are dividing themselves
into other memories
atoms of memory
memory of atoms
the yellow of beauty
the groan of wood under your boots
along the boardwalk
echoing across the Thursday lake
to where Andy can feel your heart
unravelling like a giant spool
miles away from your garage
that once meant something to you
but for now there are more amusing things
like parks encased in parks
and ice on your mind
layers of jutting hope along the shore
a discarded subway token
your smile reminiscent of chickens; a proton
positively charged
a streetcar full of moon
quieter hours
and a curb
waiting to congratulate you
while you rest your borrowed ankles.

Zero day

In a place where there is no milk
he blinks
what the rat told him
is true
black is the queen of colours

there is a bend in the road
where the empty shell of his brother lies
blanched and drying
under an alabaster sun
and he says it doesn’t matter
but it is anchored
in his mind
“zeru”
a brother with frosted eyelashes
transparent
through the seasons
ghost
a pearl
pressed against the blackness
of their mother

the breeze undoes him
cracked lips
he approaches the edge
his chest fills with the sounds of the cellist
heard only once
pride comes in waves
as he lifts the little shell to his lips

the first drop is metallic
followed by sweetness
tears find their way into him
there is no cure
for snow in the blood
his brother is gone
taken
for his bird-like limbs

mediators stomp
the dirt complies
bells jingle
bringing on the ecstasy
he watches as the spirit of zeru rides on their shoulders
and wishes his skin was not king.

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