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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Two Poems by Zachary Kluckman

Two Poems by Zachary Kluckman

Tracking the Kites

I argued against the bar codes
but you insisted their need for forehead adornment.
You prevailed.

Now our children are lost.

Your insistence was based
on the resurgence of men with political goals,
the disquieting needs of deviance.

We lost them to your diligence.

The salt tang of summer sweat
in their eyes, they became sailors of wind.
Made trees boughs
into sails, unfurling skinny

arms, embracing the wind
with parted lips and the long lungs of the sky.
Carried away
despite your awkward protests,

fruit does not cling to the tree.
Our children, aware of well intentioned paranoia
saw their parents
as a burden of eyes and watches,

a guardhouse for a mother.
A father’s instincts turned up above tiger.
Their wish a freedom
from protections.

The river is not bothered
by thunder, but the stones we place mid-
stream to cross over
forgetting the feel of the water.

Choke the Dust Shouldered Ghosts

Warehouse your tongue like linens
in a mouthful of worries.
Swallow dust shouldered ghosts,
waiting for something more than thin apologies,
witless with brief bright intentions.
Gone thin with the effort to smile,
to remember when sweat meant dancing naked
with her swollen breasts loose among the shadows.
His hornet hands stung her flowered stomach.
Never let her thighs escape his savage dreams.
Torn dress becoming insect wings under bully hands.
Neon purple bruising shoulder bone and clavicle.
Outside the throat choking city streets screaming
mosquitos become brownstone butterflies.
Dirty city, dirty children drink from rain gutters.
The moments of silence sit heavy between them.
Haunch heavy heels glisten with
dreams of scarlet thread heavy horizons.
The window in her throat allowing the stain,
the shadows puppeting her eyes. 
His fear became her armor, wet with blood.
How many bricks did it take
for the ground to accept his deadly weight?
With his hands in his pockets, her crying,
carry the flag of her knees up past her eyes
stricken with pledges to recall the fallen
but quietly             quietly.

Author’s Bio: Zachary Kluckman is the Spoken Word Editor for Pedestal Magazine, Associate Editor for The Journal of Truth and Consequence, Director of the Albuquerque Slam Poet Laureate Program and a founding member of the Albuquerque Poetry Festival. His poetry appears in print and on the radio around the world. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his recent publications include The New York Quarterly, Memoir (and) and Cutthroat among others. When he is not untangling string cheese, Kluckman is hard at work on a new manuscript titled “S(he) Doesn’t Exist…”

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