Marilena Zackheos Poetry

61

Ledger

With a copper sun
the copper man steals
my image.

He numbers me in
his Registration Book:
1 2 7. What else is there

beyond the posing,
the taking,
the stamp and the vacuum?

I shield my dreams in burlap
and when night falls,
I discard them. Brothers,

husbands, widowers,
unfamiliar sons—
molten metal against flesh.

I count them all
in silver piasters,
King Georges.

.

.

Feeling for Place

We lived in shallow time
with blackened fingernails and smeared lip edges
playing catch-me-if-you-can
between           and past heirloom furniture
upturning chairs for castles                 riding broomsticks for horses
before our essential being was burdened
by accessible comforts and material clutter
we were ipso facto acolytes of our own lores
before the lengthening past and the accretion of sentiment
we played with fire ants in the backyard
the evil queen demanded allegiance
wiping clean over and over the hard-worked mound erected in her honor
you were our first horseman
defending our terrain from invaders
when a servant struck the corner of our eye               swelling upon contact
we became illusions to each other
false protectors            we darted fast and in different directions
and when you fell and split your head open
at the edge of our coffee table
trying to snatch the prized hennin off mine
we darted fast toward the dead reckoning
slipping and tumbling             with backward glances         feeling for place
until every piece of the ancestral property was demarcated between us
and now what’s yours is yours           and what’s mine is equally plotted
different flags              same coats of arms.

Source: Yi-Fu Tuan’s Space and Place.

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