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"a::::maze::::d"


a::::maze::::d

—after an untitled painting by Merle Rosen

::dive in anywhere::::go ‘round and ‘round

on pearl or coral::::cross on cobalt::

::stall against the black mass::::the black

slabs that finger under rivers of rose::

::your hazel eyes will search unmirrored the

rings like years::::vibrato’d, banded angles::

::your sparrow childhood will scan for

the far mouth of corn stalks::::inflict patient

waiting before screaming::::scrawls in clay

will cue the silliness of ancient glyphs::

::saplings will bend and sing to the wind::

::darkened leaves will unhem and dawn’s

paradise will shatter, the constellations

of fine lines torn apart for a merciless

afterward waving like harsh flags::

::but then a familiar vermillion will send

autumn’s frost dissolving, diurnal hours

zigzag-falling like freewheeling feathers::

::until tonight ages into its sedate pitch::::those

baffling coils slacken into cool-jazz Taps::::and

you view the horizon glimmered and wobbled::

 

D. R. James has taught writing, literature, and peace-making at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, for 33 years and lives and writes in the woods east of Saugatuck. His most recent of seven collections are If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press) and the chapbooks Split-Level and Why War (both Finishing Line Press).


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