Cordelia Hanemann – 3 poems 

Song of the Fish

 

You should join me here. The cool

green deep of my underwater keep

holds me close. I circle the pier,

waiting for you. If only you’d look,

you’d see me, a silver of reflected light

among the currents of the lake.

 

I watch you fix your rig,

select the bait to hide the hook.

Your arc is pure from shore to lake

like a dancer in an arabesque.

 

You are such an artist.

I cannot resist.

I’ve seen this worm before—

my lips are shreds of broken skin;

gills, heart, organs torn;

still, I hunger, lunge, and swallow.

 

You pull me in;

pain never felt so good.

The gentle way you work the hook,

your hand so warm, so firm

on my naked skin: you hold me,

like a treasure.

It hardly hurts at all.

 

How could I know

you would slit me open,

eat my flesh,

spit out my bones?

 

 

 

🍃

   

Sometimes a small light makes

the dark more terrible.

 

Headlights show only the swath

of road yards out; they seem to make

the dark more real, the way less clear.

Shapes crowd-in like hunter-demons,

bearing arms to take us down, take

us back. The car is dumb and warm

and close. Highways hum along under

us, indifferent, but familiar tunes;

our ears fill with the weary whine of tires,

the drone of old stories. Home is the place

where the road ends, where the door beckons,

but for the wanderer, the road goes on

criss-crossing earth’s face in complex

geometries of loneliness.

  

 

🍃

 

Defunct Tractor

 

The night sky burns with stars, dead

a thousand years; the cistern beside

the house, boasts its haul of icy dread,

blackening in the broad-bellied barrel.

 

Abandoned to an open field, iron beast,

like a scarecrow stripped of human cloth,

angular and alone, bearing no one’s travail,

a skeletal silhouette indifferent to night frost,

 

stands, grim and unmoved, succumbing to rust,

its steely black stillness a reproach to all

that spreads out from its mute paralysis:

a landscape, sere, naked, without conscience.

 

In waning night, earth refrains from judgment,

proffers no solace, no absolution, no Truth. 

 

  

 🍃

 

 A resident of Raleigh, NC where Cordelia is a practicing artist and writer, she have taught in elementary and high school and been a university professor. A native of Southwest Louisiana, she has lived in Japan and London as well as in the US. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, among which areSouthwest Review, Mainstreet Rag, andThird Wednesday Magazine; anthologies, most recently, The Well-Versed Readerand Heron Clan IV; and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. She was recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press, and The Strand Project presented, this summer. a monologue she wrote for performance. She is also working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.  

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