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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,






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




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,






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 




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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