from Body Language

Josh English

The more we bear witness
the more kaleidoscopic our closed eyes

                                                    til finally my lids could not be preached open
                                                                           without promise of new colors.

Before railways
we traversed the nation with stones.

                                                                                            One stone contained
                                                                                    the darkness of one night.

We call aimless
that which refuses to kiss us back

                                                                                             believing aesthetics
                                                                                                 is body language.

To bend in all directions
is the fluid grammar of plants.

                                                                                      This is not a declaration
                                                                              but a series of small appetites

housed deep within the eye.

                                                                  We are still learning to look skyward
                                                                                  without thoughts of falling.


* * *


We all seek to bead our dreams together
into more than story.

                                                                                      That I couldn’t peel back
                                                                                              the praxis of a word

and sing inside its hollow,

                                                                   that I couldn’t untranslate the breeze
                                                                                                         back into fan.

A portrait of the interior
demands a darker shade of bone

                                                                                                   is what I thought
                                                                   looking into the eyes of a Rembrandt.

Between these slats of hardwood
shine lines of thin black ash.

                                                                                               The pattern repeats,
                                                                             disrobing itself across the floor.

Outside my window
the moonlight is filthy

                                                                                           but the birds born of it
                                                                                                     are snowy-clean.