Mark J. Mitchell

Song in Waltz Time

Over there sleeps a grief.
She calls out names at night.
She’s dreaming your release,
but her hand holds on tight
to your soul, like a child
and her blanket. She smiles.

She turns over. You stay
too close. You turn back,
like you do every day,
forgetting she’s a fact.
She’ll always call your name.
She won’t renounce her claim.

Go ahead, smile at her
sadly—that’s not a choice.
Light as a gold feather,
she’ll tickle out your voice.
Leave her there, let her sleep.
You’ll wake her if you weep.

Fog Fantasia

Some days the bridge just disappears. Damp fog
swallows it whole, leaving a void crossing
this tide. Your trust’s required. A vacant song
leaves its foghorn. You can’t know what it sings.
You pull your collar close, brush back hair
already damp. You know what’s over there—
you tell yourself that your dreams lie to you,
that light will open out of gray sky. New
currents will drag you gentle out to sea.
You’ll float—serene, calm, dull. The other shore’s
mystic caress—STOP! Stop this now, before
you dissolve into flat, ignorant memes.
A foggy day. A bridge. And strong Spring tides
pull evening towards a moon. Watch it rise.

Mark J. Mitchel was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Roshi San Francisco, was just published by Norfolk Publishing.  Starting from Tu Fu was recently published by Encircle Publications.   He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco.