Alchemy

By Josh Bauer

You must remember

there is a pair to almost everything.

 

The soft coal pupils, the chambers of the heart,

the wild limbs, the teeth and all their brothers

the fingers, the toes, the hidden bundles of sinew

now, more like strings than cables.

I don’t have the memory for the maddening miracles.

 

I got your hair right.

Saying its phrase over and over,

“She drops her copper into my lungs.”

 

I lost your eyes,

your freckles, and myself,

having nothing real to cling to

sunk through your bones

into the dirt, turned to clay.

Your lips, misplaced

along with a map of the West Coast,

showing in the color of blood

routes into the sea.

___

Josh Bauer received his M.F.A from Portland State University. His most recent publications have been in The Broken Plate and Green Mountains Review.


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