Two Poems, by Ken Denberg.

Chagal et la Bible

Was it a tablet or a chorus girl
her plume and a side-long glance, her eyes met his
hand, that beard like feathers, but there are three
hands, the crow perched above but perched on what?
The girl or the tablet have commandments
on the thigh or on the face of the face.
Among the black, the gray, the white, yellow
of moon or sun, those stockings lead the eye.
Is it his hat or her arm, his mouth parts
the black teeth seem wrong yet the smile seems right
the splash of light on the crooked, wide nose.
Clouds well up and are blue, the green fingers
to the right clutch at nothing, the tablet?
His brow is wrinkled and the aleph, bet.


Nothing doing, You're leaving again

Then there's the phone hitting its cradle, click
as the door swings, slap, the car pulls away
tock, and nothing moving slowly marking
time, no indentation of light. No silence
moon, nor shadow falling on the dog's back
branches scraping the roof, owl wing gliding
on the lip of snowdrifts, wounds filled with salt.

In the nothing, the nothing in your voice
in the empty air the wave of a hand
reaching, the air closing around it, now
in the last grasp of dark its simple hold
eases. Breathing out, in, the wind kicks up
black sky, one star falls and your mouth opens
to tell me about it, but nothing comes out.

Ken Denberg's poems appear in Southern Poetry Review, Agni Review, The Maryland Poetry Review, Sundog, The Southeast Review and others. He is the editor of Snail's Pace Press, a not-for-profit literary publisher, in Cambridge, NY. His work appeared in Offcourse Issue #9.


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