You are so distant, yet within me
you speak through my lips?
The obsidian walls are carved with ancient alphabets.
And I was a fool, not to leave, not to dance on a bed of crimson leaves.
But we are singing the very songs we have written.
It was so easy, and we wrote with such trust.
The cuneiforms are shedding light at 4 A.M.
Crescents shining on the ocean's onyx/indigo.
It was as if we smiled, your hand on mine, but
then became serious.
Because illness was honing in like a scraggly coyote.
We became still, one within the other folded like leaf within leaf.
And we took strength from mere light, mere water, mere melodies
chanted in quiet devotion as the first star laughed over the dogwood.
May 6, 2017
A Hand That Bandages The Living
for Gloria Mindock
Cloth of rushes, stars falling in a laser trajectory, the lips that don't worry anymore.
I could also bring a blouse of rose petals, linens of a Kohane, a sacred bone.
Weaving of crickets who mourn the loss of rusty stones, and raise a plaintive lament
to the hands that inspire children to dance in hidden rooms.
Also, a shower of comets for those who are not buried in crevasses of quartz and blood.
Also, a rain of salamanders for those who are burying, burying, those who have been disappeared.
You could be one who removes the stain of great grief, sobs open in the field of agates
which gave birth to quetzals and parrots.
Guaze of stars, cloth of grasses used by the mystics hidden in caves by the dunes of Safed,
you could be one with a glass eye, a hand that bandages the living, who rise
From the apartments in cities of rosettsa stone, and clap as to a Halleluyah
and there was the one friend who understood all this, standing by an indigo waterfall
Her hand so infinitely invisible like a cradle for the unborn. And so we refrain from whispering
any secrets whatsoever, and light a candle at noon, a candle at noon.
May 15, 2017
Judy Katz-Levine is an internationally-published poet whose work has appeared recently in Salamander, Ibbetson Street, Ygdrasil, Muddy River Poetry Review, Gravel, Miriam's Well, Kritya (India), and Allegro Poetry (UK). She was recently featured as the Sunday Poet on the blog of Doug Holder, entitled "Boston Small Press Poetry Scene Sunday Poet" on Easter Sunday of this year. Her books include Ocarina (Tarsier/Saru), When The Arms Of Our Dreams Embrace (Saru) and a recent still-in-print chapbook, When Performers Swim, The Dice Are Cast (Ahadada).