Left to Darken The tongueless temple bells swing silently in cloisters of your mind. And you are blind, the hero of a play that violently emerged, full-formed, then flopped. No seer divined apotheosis in a sequel. That’s fond hope. You can’t have toiled so long to fade to gray, then depthless black. But ladders, cats, and other omens couldn’t lie to staid familiars you have courted, feared, fulfilled. You sold the soiled soul you scraped from wheels and treads of crumbling empires, those you’ve willed to sons and daughters that your dark muse feels were lucky to have not been born. No death for them. But on your neck, you feel cold breath. Chamber Music And through my earbuds now, a string quartet: King Lear, by Philip Glass. A tragic play translated to the moans the bows beget upon the strings: a humming midwife, say; a groaning mom-to-be; or workmen’s saws at fragrant pine-planks for a coffin. Odd these ecstasies of thought, these ravens’ caws that slice the mind’s dark woods, with nightfall clawed by stars like fiery demons straining to break through. Our suffering’s immense as space, as planets dying in the blood. Our true catharsis, birthed from tragedy: to face the aged raving king, the children cruel, the hero traumatized, reduced to fool.
Thomas Zimmerman (he/him) teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits The Big Windows Review https://thebigwindowsreview.com/ at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His poems have appeared recently in Fleas on the Dog, Streetcake Magazine,and Yellow Mama. His latest book is Domestic Sonnets (Cyberwit.net, 2021). His website is https:/thomaszimmerman.wordpress.com.