Phantom (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 25 Oct 2017 in Art, Poems

OIl painting of coral-like form feeling horrified






Here the river loses its bottle-glass translucence

Before the shallows are disturbed

Crook-legged insects skim like kites and

chittering birds

Paired in low flight dip and vault

Wheeling from sight above the bankside’s

wrinkled tension

Water flows

And parts, billowing mud with each thrust

of the salvage man’s pole

Farther out, light glances from the driving current

His raft taken by the river

He lies flat

Among oyster shells cracked in two, stinking

in the drying sun

The heart severed at the hinge

He has seen the upright dead cowed by this long wait

Their peeling skin and buoyant hair more animate

than the smile frozen in gaping acquiescence

and the eyeless sockets

The executioner will have his lock

A woman passenger fainted on the wharf

Mantling on the water’s face she had seen

a phantom

But they carried her aboard

The earth is mined, shards burst from rock

to pierce the lung

Deformed into mockery all living things melt

into earth again

Two rings, two stains on paper merge to form a heart





Digital drawing dog in cage while room floodsWhile We Talk





Thumbnail of cover for The Poor Belabored Beast




















(2015, Stephanie Foster)




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