when the war ended

It’s a sad story,
the drowning man
in a cloud of fists

the first thing in morning
woken thinking of yesterday
and swinging wide like a boxer

finds the finish when he
splays on the mat, hair
absurd and wet for

just a fight in his memories
of fire and rush
of the way the sun

shocked when he woke seeking
like missiles seek below waters
a mid-night butterfly to take,

hunts

way of shore: soft
sand and dawn,
the cellar

where Geppetto carves a heart/
and how still is absence
of war. stillness

pulsing like a star grown
old or the shock of gardenias
in a scorching heat,

not a violin struck with flint
or the way a man can wail,

through city streets across
smelly kitchens and
mothballs clung to old coats

dark roads and alleys
in living of dying-
the flower unfolds

its self.

I think the man
questions if he can
swim in dark waters

and how will he meet
the sun, swinging
with those

wildcat fists? how
he could, like a shock
of gardenias, breathe

life of so-called dying;
make a home with
an artist in the cellar

where he is waiting
on the shore.

i.

Become a mouth-breaking
exclamation, a sigh sorting
memories into the box
of photographs

the turn
of a projector or
maybe a suspicion
of beauty

in others, like a freckle
tucked away beneath
makeup:

how suffering so often
is a lone subject/ a
whale song caught

in caves of ice
or upon the lips of sleepy bears
filling with weary resolve

threatening avalanches:
do not disturb.

To draw lines and swallow
lyrics like whiskey is hot,
the finger bones

grasping in resolve
with burning.