Wednesday 5 November 2014

1 Poem by Martin Willitts, Jr


I could not tell you then, how close you were to death, blue as a stone,
how the chickadees stopped their tormenting love long enough
to feel pity, how the silence sat in a rocking chair, holding the pulse
of a blue vein, looking for some faint sigh of light. I could tell you then,
for I needed you to fight back, my rescue breathing had failed.
I cracked your ribs like walnut shells, forcing space to push out
the nothingness inhabiting you, section by section, occupying
what should be, by rights, yours. I could not tell you over the coldness,
the shifting ice burg in your bones, that I was losing you
and you had to find your own way back, waving frantically,
this way. I could not tell you, because you could not hear,
you were not here, you were headed to the elsewhere.
My training was failing both of us; and you were heading
towards that more insistent calling. All I was holding
was the stone of your life.

They told me I had done everything. I had been at it for hours.
I worked while you were dead. This was no comfort.
I saw you in the blue moon, the unmoving rocking chair,
the air you never had, the coldness of summer at noon,
my bones  cracking like ribs, the light on a walnut shell.


Martin Willitts Jr was nominated for 8 Pushcart and 7 Best of the Net awards. He is the winner of the 2014 Broadsided award; and winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest. His current collections include national chapbook contest winner, "William Blake, Not Blessed Angel But Restless Man" (Red Ocher Press, 2014), ), national full length contest winner “ Searching for What You Cannot See ” (Hiraeth Press, 2013), and “ Before Anything, There Was Mystery ” (Flutter Press, 2014).

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