Hour with One Hand Inserted in a Time of War
We dug with our hands & hand shovels. We dug with our spatulate feet. & with torsos as our only circumference we dug a maze. A maze of passageways: Level Three the Maternity Ward, April with knees on either side of her chin. Some thoughts no wider than a chest. Some thoughts no wider than a chest, heaving. On Level Six a green parrot opened its red beak & it reached us, seconds later, as a roar. Our eyelashes cringed, & lashed back. We named it the Level of Roaring Parrots & turned back to our work, carrying sewage out by moonlight, the buckets light each night & getting lighter. A gas lamp flickered beside a makeshift waterfall. Ceilings of soil shook soil. Joo plucked her eyebrows with her eyes closed, a kind of faith. & from the mouth of an infant a cracked nipple slipped—what minerals are my lips or packed vegetation my eyes—black coals— how darkness changes darknesses each time I blink, & blink again, Level One’s filling with tear gas, swing through the Level of Eternal Foliage & seal it off—April you there, Yes, I’m here, October’s on the Level of Yellow Orioles Warbling High in the Shadowy Summer Woods & Gungjeong was last on the Level of Indentations Left Behind by Falling Snow & should we stand guard at the Level of One Hand Raised to Block the Lemon Seed of the Sun or should we push off, down the tunnels, dig a hole in the side of a wall & wait?
From Citizen Of © 2007 by Christian Hawkey. Published by Wave Books, www.wavepoetry.com