The 2River View 23.1 (Fall 2018)

Sandra Kolankiewicz

Like an Endless Base

He was like being given back my
father after thirty years, the same
disappointment waiting in the wings
as if for some reason I am meant
to find happiness yet in the midst
of misery, see blue skies only
during a funeral, sustain my
self by killing something else.  Now I
know to feel joy is possible but
just moment to moment, the backdrop
always shades darker than day appears,
a long note running like an endless
base to aspirations I do not
speak, which float above me, some chorale’s
sustained soprano cry, all my dreams
diminished, weakened by tangling real
memory with all that might have been.

Waiting for Rain

When I look at you across the table,
            I wonder what is written on my forehead
that you don’t see the pulling in and out
            of energy is like the motion of  waves
at the shore, dying and creating at
            the same time like this laid space between us. A
faint sprinkle teases the parched earth, better
            than the downpours we’ve had, which waste everything,
send anything of value or evil
            to the storm drains and the river where they are
indistinguishable.  I don’t know how
            to meter out wisdom or take only a
bite at a time.  In some moments I gorge
            while for others I leave a banquet of facts
on the table, happy in ignorance,
            off with my preconceptions, most blissful when
oblivious to the obvious.  Each
            day I conduct a symphony no one can
hear in deep woods following a centaur,
            resisting the catcalls and comparisons
until the ground is in ecstasy just
            anticipating fulfilment, and here we
go, the first tiny drops growing larger
            till they’re darkening the dirt and stone the way
artists fills in their pictures, the brush strokes
            in need of narration as well if you can’t
see them, as marriage must be explained, or
            the nature of music described to someone
who has never sung and knows no rhythm.

Sandra Kolankiewicz has appeared most recently in Adelaide, London Magazine, and New World Writing. Her chapbooks include Turning Inside Out (Black Lawrence Press) and The Way You Will Go and Lost in Transition, both from Finishing Line Press.

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