Katie Taylor CC
A Violent History
We are all bricks in an old house,
lodged in our leaning wall.
Some abide, some crumble or fall
like baby birds who yet learned
Some swallow shrapnel
like medicine, wear it as a badge.
See: I am the one
that time pierced!
I have bled, painted my face red
with history! Bend the knee.
Others seek to expel
lead weight, to rage against
architect and mason.
All in these walls,
our rotting mortar
synapse and memory.
under our own laudanum.
And not one blames the hand
which set the shell,
which pulled the match cord,
nor cannon who sent it home.
yourself. No one else
spends as much time with you.
Not the prying wind
which turns the pages of your open book,
despite the heaviness
with which you are weighted.
Not the quilted sky,
which blankets only your daydreams.
When I was young, Father placed
a slice of lemon cake on our checkered table.
Soon it was eclipsed by black
flies so thick, we could not know
if it was day or night.
All I could feel
was a waning hand holding mine.
All I could taste
was the great dry turning of time.
All I could know
is that sometimes it is best to leave
Father said: nothing
ends but us.
A joyful spring
rushes forth in haste to become
the old ocean, only to find itself
the clouds, the rain, the spring again.
Yet I must choose only one path:
drink from the spring
cleanse in the ocean
dance in the rain.
There is a Trouble
when the great pale mouth of the Earth
begins a song of time. When each man and woman,
cast as wildflowers, become rootbound
growing only inward.
Between the furrow of your brow
is an hour. Slender hour
of shadow and fear. A valley
which echoes the Earth song. Your ear,
a chest. Stocked woolen for lonely winter.
A satchel of sage.
My eyes hold only labor. Small labors of witness.
Righting inverted pictures of the day.
My lips, two measures of forgiveness.
So let us walk again, Love,
on the footpath behind the leaning house.
A soft sowing, a new song. You will hear.
We will not be lonely again; we will meet as equal
shadows, pictures, roots, sage.
Carlin Corsino is a poet, Army veteran, and emergency physician. Carlin has been published recently in Nerve Cowboy, Misfit Magazine, Hudson Valley Writers’ Guild, and a finalist in the North Carolina Poet Laureate Competition.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.