Kiss Over Zero

George David Clark

anything over zero is zero
anything over one is itself

a bed over zero
is a funhouse mirror aimed

at a cloudy sky
a sky and its clouds over zero

a storm over one
is an infinite storm

a night over one
is a kiss over zero

and the minute hand eating its tail
is a red ear on a wet pillow

the memory of laughter
is a lamp over one

one inhales before one sighs
a lamp over zero is zero

the hole in a satin sheet
slowly ate up the yellow

till splitting the hem
the hole was unleashed

like a kiss
a long kiss over zero

More by George David Clark

Loud Outs

 No one lofts a loud out
             to the left field 

fencing with its ads
             for Meacham’s Auto

and McClintock Paints.
             There’s no bravado

at the plate at all.
             No southpaw deals

his slider for a strike
             no one appeals,

since no one lent
             the anthem her vibrato.

This afternoon the high,
             off-tune legato

in the stands was only
             wind on steel.

But even though the team’s
             due back in town

tomorrow evening,
             though a storm is spinning

this way now, and though
             the world’s beginning

to dissolve in dust purled
             off the mound,

a patience rallies
             as the dark spills down

another rapture
             into extra innings.

Ultrasound: Your Picture

                 —Henry Thomas Clark, 10/7/14

We’ve framed an ultrasound
            of you and Peter

holding hands
            (or almost) in the womb,

your moon-bright arms
            crossed in a black balloon

with week, and weights,
            and heights in millimeters

penciled on the side.
            We say it’s good

that he, at least, was with you
            when you died,

that unlike us
            you’ll never know the why

of being lonely
            or what naked falsehood

feels like in one’s mind.
            You see, it’s false
                                                                                               
to say your death
            was somehow grace. It’s grace

that spared Cain’s life
            and later gave Eve other                                             

sons, despite creation’s
            wastes and faults.

I wish you could have known
            love’s aftertastes.

I wish you’d had a chance
            to hate your brother.