Summer Night, Croatia
The yellow wind that is my dream
Of another world
Comes to the window and dances
Moth-like through the dust and haze.
I believe in nothing
If not the way the trees shimmer and shine
When no one’s looking,
The talk of leaves
Under a halo of summer heat,
The mysterious, almost unknown rites
Which the waves
On certain August nights perform
Priestlike and alone
While the moon turns away,
Respecting the privacy
Of such dark and wild things.
The empty socket where the world
Meets the eye
Is blown by sudden force
Against the ceiling’s ledger.
This is how I’ll go
When my bones can’t stand the longing,
When the medication dances
Its final artificial spin
And love’s crooked, unappeasable smile
Leaves me with the ghost it is.
It will be a Monday I imagine,
And I’ll be somewhere near the shore,
The dawn will be a field of birdsong,
And the soul, that ancient mummified fruit,
Will fall back towards its heavenly vendors
Eerie and oracular, on the whitened sea.
The Leaves in August
I don’t want to forget this.
Her suicide amongst the leaves in august.
Her body found along the rows of sumac.
The small birds pecking around her feet
As if they hadn’t noticed.
That green heart resting for a summer
Beside the apples and scattered seeds
Was a kind of memento from
The longing in each life.
An envelope full of stunned reactions,
Of unsolvable griefs,
The flesh that molts into dirt and flowers.
It comes from everywhere:
The broken joints of summer,
The godlike sun in his flaming
It comes from cars,
From trees, from sewer pipes
And the night.
It rises on a modest hinge
It follows elation.
In the deep, impenetrable light
It is a breath formed in frost.
It has a heart.
It creaks within you
And startles into song.
It is a deer leaping
In darkened pastures,
A paper boat on quiet waves.
In the day, with its blistering precincts,
It is a seat in sunlight.
From the earth it lifts
Its coarse material,
Shines through your body,
Forms a hot stone
On the tip of your singing.
And wherever you are,
Whatever silence you have known,
It abides. A small dab of lightning
On your stricken tongue.
Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA, and is the founder of Seven Circle Press (www.sevencirclepress.com). His own work has appeared throughout the small press world in such places as The Foundling Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, and Black Heart Magazine. More about him and his work can be found at www.sethjani.com.