ZEBULON HUSET and KATE STRONG STADT
Buried Poem Triptych 2
III. Vicarious Escapee
The kite string snapped
and for a few moments
it flew free—the boy
allowed his heart to jump
for just that handful
of seconds, to see that piece
of himself soaring—
escaping. But when it soon
lost its updraft, slipped
and flickered out of sight
somewhere beyond the wall
he returned to the rubble
of his playground, his home.
II. How Long To Fly
I will always have the kite, held by a string of memory
to a boy I thought I had snapped the rotten off of.
And the kite, I thought I had cut it loose –
for a second it seemed like it could fly on its own,
a second became a few moments,
and I turned from it, I flew free –
I let the boy go, I allowed myself
to become weightless.
Then his heart crashed into me;
the kite had missed its chance to jump
for the limitless sky, had come back to earth
laden with Boy, just taking me with it.
A handful of gravity, a taste of seconds.
And then to see the ground again, to feel that piece
of Boy lodge himself into my organs of flight
when I could have been soaring...
I fear that my grasp on the kite
will always be “escaping.”
I try to resist but when I tell the kite “escaped,”
it only whispers, “soon.”
Never “now.” Never “yes.”
The boy is lost, except for what is left of him in me.
The kite will never find its updraft.
The string holding it will never have fully slipped.
And, worst, I fear my desire to cut it has flickered,
as the sky retreats away out of sight.
Somewhere else must be beyond the wall
between flight and gravity. The boy must know.
He has returned to a place I can’t follow.
Never enough to hold him, the kite
and I mired in the rubble.
It was ever his playground, his cosmology.
But the tug of a kite worrying the splinter in my back,
that feels like home. I tell myself it’s enough.
What else can I do? Tell me, what.
III. To Fly
the kite, I cut it loose –
it flew free –
the kite missed
the limitless sky, had come back to earth
me with it.
A gravity of seconds.
my organ of flight
I resist the kite “escaped,”
The boy is lost,
will have fully slipped
between flight and gravity
a place I can’t follow.
and I mired in the .
of a kite
that feels like home. tell m e
What can I do Tell me
Buried Poem Triptych 3
I. Crow Friends
I haven’t made a crow friend yet
but I’m trying. They say corvids
will bring those that feed them
treasures, tiny shiny thank yous.
I spy each dash of trash on my stoop
like it were stashed under a spangled
douglas fir in my living room.
But if anyone asks, I’m doing well.
II. Palms out
What I have decided about you
is that you are hoping
that I haven’t made up my mind
if you are a true crow, a friend
of our family yet.
I have decided. I say,
what a dream to put faith in.
What a waste of a dream.
“But,” you will say,
raising a quavering note
in your voice like cracked scales.
I step away. I’m not interested.
You by your trying is suspect enough.
We have had endless and faithless
of what they of your kind say.
We hold our own ways pricelessly close.
Corvids will bring our dead and our children
to those lands that feed them,
spacious and radiant, suns for us.
You strew treasures, tiny shiny
worthless measures. You expect ‘thank you’s?
“But.” You drop the word before me.
I will not even spend time considering
its worthlessness. You spill
tears like coins. You tell me anything.
Now I say “but.” You may be a spy.
You throw each dash of words
like they are of worth. On my stoop?
Here, I live like it was up to me,
one of the few, the expenses
of my kind stashed under the broken
promises of a spangled douglas coin.
We carry our children and our dead,
we mark our ways by maple and fir.
In my eyes you are the one not
up to the task of incredible living.
Give room. For once in your life. Give room.
I return your watery words, “but.”
If anyone else is coming, tell them
to take their shadows off again.
Each one of you asks the same kind
of blank spaces, faintly traceless.
I’m doing for my own kind.
A fir for myself. Mark me well.
III. [Shiny, Worthless Treasures]
you are hoping
I have decided
to put faith in.
a waste of a dream.
a quavering note
like cracked scales
is suspect enough.
We hold pricelessly close
our dead and our children
spacious and radiant for us.
You treasure shiny
worthless thank you’s
spend time considering
You tell me
I may be a spy
I like it
our children and our dead,
we mark our ways by maple and fir.
In my eyes you are not
Note from the writers: In our Buried Poem Triptych collaboration, the first poet writes a very short poem-section, from that the other poet writes a 'buried poem' section (think the opposite of an erasure, the original words are kept in order with many more added in so ostensibly an erasure might be made of the second section to reveal the original poem), and then the first poet makes a 'white out' erasure section of the second, expanded section.