3 Poems, 3 Photographs, from Pop. 1280 — Alex Stolis
Leaning into the Wind
Her grandmother talked of curses. Passed down generations
They’re a noose and a lifeline. Handmade. A pale band on her
Ring finger. Sometimes she unfolds herself. He doesn’t notice
Anymore. It doesn’t really matter. This is not where it started
To fall apart. That was long ago. Before any curse was burned
Into their DNA. Before the drought and the famine long before
The ground could no longer be turned.
In the beginning heaven was still and dark
In the beginning the sky was a kaleidoscope of ash and smoke.
On the seventh day God rested from all his work. On the eighth
There was no sound at all. The silence was turquoise. Smooth
And shiny it covered the earth. A thin sheet of glass. Right now
It’s cold. The sun seems too far away and we have been awake
For hours. This world has its own sins to confess its own truths
To bury. Let’s keep ours in the hollow of stillness, in the deepest
Red of this darkness that sticks to everything.
Do you remember how Jesus told fables to the apostles
Did they ever wonder when he turned water into wine
Or raised the dead if God had more surprises. Did they
Know the sun isn’t hot. Stars are not light. Grass seems
To bend but is rigid. She tells a story about her mother.
There’s silence. Wind. Windows bang open/shut. Music
Stops. There’s only one more moon to shoot. She dreams
Of angel-ghosts, secret denouements; remembers the last
Time he kissed her, open-mouthed, expectant. She’s pale
And flush. God is not finished with us.
Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis. The three poems from the full-length poetry/photo collection Pop. 1280, forthcoming from Grey Borders Books in 2019.