23 February 2012

Featured Poet: Melissa Severin

Silent Service

Back to maps and time
lapse text encoded, wired across air

bridges with incalculable density.
That it exists at all is a question

for space. Held in the palm but in amounts
much less than a breath, the between bodies
small slats of light fit to disintegrate.

Seconds work against the influence of skin.
And salt. And ocean. What direction

when cold meets warm, stirs currents. Convection
closing in—if not under, unseen, between

pushing north without fail. Tide is licking
clocks to cut the distance of continents
as if land moves perceptibly as the second hand.

The city vanished beneath sternum has to be resuscitated,
resurrected by a stranger in the next seat over

who goes to sea for 17 weeks.  He leaves atlases shelved
and waves to bark back into darkness, queued in the doldrums;

awaits the wind, unrequited, bored before it begins.
Quick to dismiss anticipation—board the boat,
sink where stars reflect themselves. 


The voice turned gravel, lost
under fog, soundless winded lungs
lurching through the neck bones of a dead man.
Transplanted is how you’ll speak, injected
with the kiss skin and no-tell
larynx chain link to a single hand clapping
beats in 4/4 time. If measurement is melody,
distance the repetition of chorus navigated by bright guitars,
there would be four moonless months, an airport
with one gate, the ocean would be connected
by walk-only bridges between every land once called far away.
Over there is one step in front of the other, the silent return,
the no-one-is-waiting welcome back. This is not
a place anyone is from; it’s interim, willful
as pinched nerves—tensile then paralyzed
—gone permanent.

Melissa Severin is the author of the chapbook Brute Fact from dancing girl press.

© Copyright 2012 Melissa Severin