“The Past is Prologue” and “Somewhere to Land” – Poetry by Amy Strauss Friedman

The Eternal Silence of These Infinite Spaces Frightens Me - Odilon Redon
The Eternal Silence of These Infinite Spaces Frightens Me – Odilon Redon

“The Past is Prologue” and “Somewhere to Land” are two unforgettably evocative poems by Amy Strauss Friedman from our Summer 2016 issue.

{ X }

“The Past is Prologue”

SHE SAYS IT AS IF IT WERE SIMPLE:
Silence exacts its pound of flesh.
But it’s years on now.
We know nothing else to be truer.

There was a time to speak,
to turn over tables
and throw bud vases
set out only for facade
against drywall. To dent
the flow of air.
To chirp against the rain.

To scream the floors awake.

Children do not wash easily down the drain.
They clink inside pipes, backlog sinks.
Drown in puddles of want.
Expand when we cannot save them.

{ X } 

“Somewhere to Land”

I LIVE AS A PARTICLE
in the noxious Pig Pen dust-up
you belch out in cascade.
Disinfect myself with therapy
that doesn’t take.
I still linger like a leech.
Jones for drops
of your tainted blood.
Yearn for the landfill
beneath your steaming smile.
Let me splash in the webbing
between your fingers
sticky with tar and promises
unkept. I know why I follow you
like a duckling. Why you hunt
your own breath like a sniper.
Because your exit ensures mine.

{ X }

FullSizeRender (1)AMY STRAUSS FRIEDMAN is the author of the chapbook Gathered Bones Are Known To Wander (forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks). She is a regular contributor to the newspaper Newcity, and a staff writer for Yellow Chair Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Jet Fuel ReviewLunch Ticket, BurningwordTypehouse, *82 ReviewMenacing Hedge and elsewhere. Amy lives in Chicago and teaches English at Harper College.

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