Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

Red | | Leaves; Sonnet Spoken to a Mountain; A Portrait of Your Corpse as an Out-of-Commission Baseball

Red

or yellow

leaves 

for Floridians

mean 

you’re no longer

home you’re out

of your lane rolling down

pitchforking veins

toward the edge 

what you thought was 

the end what is really 

a border

where they want to put a 

wall

between you and me

and our mani-colored 

leaves

Southern leaves

Northern leaves

Mankind leaves

yes     we leave

nos vamos I imagine

mi abuelo saying

cuando su numero

fue llamado I imagine

also my dad

quien no ya sabía que

siempre 

nos vamos we are 

leaving we are

leaves or the 

rain falling

off of these

leaves we are

at once human beings 

being and human 

beings leaving we are 

humans beginning

to leave even as 

we’ve just begun

to live this is

perhaps 

our most accurate description

drops of water

in a water park

or on this leaf bowing

with death

like drying 

wood or bowing

to death like a pianist

finished tapping life

into lifeless keys so far 

from the bough

is this leaf so close

to leaving

is this drop

slipping or sliding

dripping 

drooping

dropping into 

pools undistinguished onto 

beds of grass

of dew

where a fellow droplet

waits for the sun

to rise waits 

patiently

to vaporize

waits / then

Leaves

Sonnet Spoken to a Mountain

 

You ask me what your funeral was like.

 

I tell you it was like today.

                                                 How sky

bruised blue to purple, dipped to black like one

long sunset captured, time-lapsed down to seconds.

 

That first second of your death came clear

through phone to ear, but I was static.

 

                                                                             I

was what replaces sound—what should have said

[       ] but failed, fell silent, disappeared into

your pristine, washed-out Windows background of

an early death.

 

                            And now

                                              I am that man

inside your laptop screen who, stunted by

a single snap of self-made gunshot

camera shutter,

                               stands mid-stride ascending this

unmoving Himalayan heaven of you.

A Portrait of Your Corpse as an Out-of-Commission Baseball

 

Like my twelve-year-old self

stumbling upon a soggy, beat-up baseball in the grass,

I want to tear into this waterlogged leather lump of you.

I want to find what lies beneath

the heavy wooden top

of your too-early casket,

to see what rubber core

once beat inside your chest

and made you zing and pop and whir

when hit or caught or thrown.

 

So I widen the gash,

jab my thumb deep into flesh

and peel back the cowhide cover—

two strips stitched so tight together

I never wondered what they were hiding.

 

You are yarn and string

and nothing but. How hard

you must’ve been hit,

mummied outer-coat

like matted hair atop your

batted ball brain. I

am a forensic investigator.

Or an overstepping

undertaker who can’t help but

unravel you, your cover slips

like silk nightgowns

off naked bodies,

and your yards of yarn

unspool at my feet

as I yank at your

strands like puppet strings,

and you’re alive once more.

I reach your core, cut into

your rubber innards, and make

my diagnosis. You are not dead-

ball era. You are or should be alive

as a catch—a compressed cork

clapping between the gloves of two friends

one whole field apart.

Instead, you are here in my sterile white

morgue of a page

waiting for me to let you go.

Edison is a student, writer, and filmmaker who hails from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and currently studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He loves investing in the power poetry wields to recuperate life's losses.