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William Crawford   Contributor -- Pennsylvania












William Crawford has been writing creatively for over twenty years; he has been published on odd occasion, most recently in Leaf Garden , Calliope Nerve, and Troubadour 21.  He’s been known to read his work live on his more salient nights.  He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and works in the music industry; he is also involved in animal rights.  His first full-length collection of poetry, Fire in the Marrow, will be published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2010.  He is not the type of person who will only make a brief appearance in his own life story..








 


That Time I Stopped Breathing, Beside You, In My Sleep

 

(for Kimberly)



 

I had a vision

 

a premonition

 

your body turned into water

 

tangled me in its tide

 

claimed me with its turbid current

 

dragged me down susurrant falls

 

shattered me in the white rapids

 

tethered what was left of me

 

to the smoothest river stone

 

 

 

I was my own anchor

 

watching the river move

 

my body became blue as the sky above me

 

an open azure wound

 

a distant mute witness

 

the pines just beyond the banks

 

on either side

 

whispering some dead language –

 

crystal echoes of old time religion

 

the scent of forest floor –

 

foraging fox and damp moss

 

old Indian paths and graves

 

a place of rest,

 

finality

 

 

 

so strange

 

that the birds were still singing

 

if only an octave lower

 

a few even had their way with my eyes

 

tinsel minnows plucked from the water

 

pierced by ambivalent beaks,

 

closed forever

 

(remember

 

they opened often for you,

 

your presence their treasure)

 

 

 

my body turned cold as the deep chambers below

 

rising and falling on the tense surface

 

my blue wave

 

seen only by you

 

fading away

 

drifting down spiral

 

in search of those stories

 

left steeping in the sediment

 

set in buried palaces of broken bone and arrowhead

 

and all those other sacred things

 

lost or jettisoned,

 

forgotten 

 

 

 

the wind careened madly

 

until even she was breathless

 

and the local fisherman made no effort to find me

 

their ignorance blissful even to the fish

 

with their just scales and sad honest eyes

 

which never judged or betrayed me

 

 

 

I watched my own spirit rising like smoke

 

in neutral ribbons and ghost garland –

 

a spectral spectacle

 

steaming, streaming up out of the valley

 

towards the mountains

 

singing a blood red native ballad

 

old as the dust from which it came

 

I could hear ancestral bone humming

 

while I was painlessly stretching

 

reaching for that jagged heaven

 

before falling back down to you

 

in stitched couplets of rain

 

 

 

my reflection returned to me in your ripples

 

drifting wider and wider

 

until we fractured together

 

in crippled communion

 

in a kaleidoscopic collision of star-crossed sonnets

 

somehow explained in long division

 

only to be obfuscated

 

by the brush of flesh against bone

 

feather against stone

 

the sound of something vital being severed

 

 

 

the rupture –

 

a riptide

 

a rift

 

then a slow drift 

 

away

 

a sudden soft fade

 

and at the heart of it all

 

your blue wave

 

your breath in my lungs.

 












 






all copyrights belong to William Crawford

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