Revisiting some of my older work this morning, I came across a certain poem and decided to share it. I very rarely use this space to publish poetry previously unpublished, but for some reason, I wanted to share this one. This is for you who found me through poetry, you who enjoy poetry, and you who enjoy the art of words. I wrote “Harvest in Phases of Night” in 2011.
Harvest in Phases of Night
The old woman ought to be
guarding the flower beds,
not spilling from acres to plots
hawking for signs:
pumping blood, an earring of pulse,
a car in flame intersecting the right
passages of dark.
Later, flinging her tampered
sleep in the night, she opens
her eyes to the kettle detached,
overhanging the wood fire.
Before dawn, her three arms
have fallen asleep, the accidental one
blackened, smelling of gasoline;
she adjusts her blanket, keeps it close…
she waters the early
streets and telephone lines,
sparking fury and grail;
she says her crushed-metal
prayers at sunrise,
chewing breakfast of concrete
peeled from asphalt walks,
punishment for ignoring the grain,
her old shoe and its sole
gold for the wake,
nourishment boiling over.
The headline of the day passes
unnoticed by the draw,
by the brass shield clouding the tide –
the old woman’s spine a chain of goblets,
auric meningitis, dreadful error,
unfortunate ride down pitted roads.
By the time I get there
the next night,
she’s rid the yard of gawkers.
She’s doing penance,
threshing stalks, sugar cane,
wheat of heritable caution
under a half-moon.
She’s answering to the nobility
There are more ways than one
to crash an ending:
fitful meetings of burnt tire,
fragmented window, misfires of logic,
passion we’ve never imagined….
Ore and secrets. Who knows
what causes these accidents?
She sleeps while the killed
find their way to the sidewalk, stone above
sketches of lighting at midnight.
In the end, it’s garden
mower to traffic signal.
The moon makes the dying right.
by Kristi Garboushian, April 2011