PULSE

Showers of snow geese.

 

Mirrors weren’t my friends anymore, couldn’t stand what they showed me, the changing flesh,

thinning hair that used to reach my knees, the drowning of names in a mud-thick water mind

 

the shorter breaths. But the voice of my ghost was kind. He told me it would end, soon. Touch me,

I begged. He didn’t but the geese began to rain every day, and I hummed for the blind to come near.

 

Showers of snow geese. The morning sky bled them, no one else noticed or was bothered. I

covered my eyes the way I always had when I passed any accident in the street, so afraid to see

 

anything dead. Afraid of winter branches, rotting gardens, abandoned houses. I hummed, like

the purr of a crone panther on her rock on a dry mountain. Hummed, so the blind came nearer.

 

You want so badly to be seen you’d paint eyes on the lids of the blind, my ghost said. A baritone,

sung between the notes of tumbling snow geese. He was my ghost, I heard him, I did what I was

 

told. Always so afraid to be near in any way—to what didn’t breathe. I wanted and needed to be seen

alive. Praised for being. For breathing, for not killing any enemies, for being a good girl, for being

 

a good woman, for becoming a knowing crone. You want so badly to be seen you would paint

eyes on the lids of the blind, the ghost had said. Yes, I mouthed. True.

 

My enemy had had a bad accident. The car had exploded on a curve and I crawled away. Soon,

the geese. Soon, my ghost. Soon, the rock on a slope of a sun-warm mountain and my own low

 

voice calling for the blind all night, until I was found holding a small white dog, my trembling

fingers stroking and stroking the lids of her chilled milk soft eyes.

 

I wanted to forgive something. Someone. I stroked the dog. I stroked my heart, until blindly it

broke all the way open, and one bird fell out. It was not blind. It was dead. But it hummed.

 

 

Margo Berdeshevsky’s newest manuscript was a finalist for the National Poetry Series 2015. Her collection of poetry, BETWEEN SOUL & STONE (Sheep Meadow Press.) Her book of illustrated stories, BEAUTIFUL SOON ENOUGH (University of Alabama Press) received FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Award for Innovative Fiction. Her poetry collection, BUT A PASSAGE IN WILDERNESS was also published by Sheep Meadow Press 2007.

Issue #57 April 2016
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