George T. Mormann

Youth, it is

a sandcastle
admired for a day,
abandoned to the
inevitable tide.
Photographs, like
grains of sand,
rouse the shallows
where memory wades.

a dollop chased out
of a jar of promises,
an arthritic swivel
of a fingertip
twisting counter-
clockwise against
the hands of time.

reclaimed in somber
remembrances
over a box of ash
filled before the age
of seventy.

The Crow’s Elegy

We hid in the sticks of a dying willow long stripped of her luster, gripping the ice left from an untimely winter carried across a pond we’d never seen. Here, we watched a white man shoot the last white buffalo we’d ever know. She limped towards the plain before the red, setting sun. Blades of tall grass caught her blood and tears, and the man trailed them wielding a long knife. When she fell, we sang for her and promised to carry her forever. From our wings we danced over her like crows. Not as a murder. As a tribe.

Metallurgy

Photo-Prompt-Sept-2017-300x200

An obtuse heart locket, pentacle and curiously enough, a dog’s bone — gifts from boyfriends one, two, four? — in no respective order. They had long wrestled at the hollow of her bosom. Their chains pulled the hairs on the back of her neck.

She googled “reverse smelting,” for it was the ore from which these metals were born she’d wished back. Instead, she wound up with a puddle and poured it into a crumpled water bottle. She watched years of her sweat escape the hollows of the bottle, innumerable voids as minuscule as the hairs on the back of her neck.

*This was originally an entry for a photo prompt story. The selected story is here.

Solemn Day of Las Vegas

las vegasOn days like today and the event which unfolded therein, I always think of that Catholic tradition of relegating certain days to each of the Saints. Feast days, I think they’re called. However, for the U.S., the days would be relegated to various shootings and tragedies. Keep up with this cycle of frequent mass casualties, and the calendar will be inundated with Days of Remembrance for a plethora of isolated incidents, workplace violence, ill conceived forms of vengeance en masse, and who-knows-what-else-or-what-next.

Daily candlelight vigils and moments of silence.

Church bells ringing in congruence with the moment of the first shot or explosion, which occurred a year, five years, a decade prior, everyday in perpetuity.

Debating the absurd fluidity of what a terrorist is.

It’s as if our only catharsis is to busy ourselves with mourning and to commemorate commemorate commemorate, like expressing some sort of collective guilt because not a single resolution is ever followed through or simply agreed upon. And it’s always too soon to talk about until the dawn of the next shooting.

The cycle then repeats itself.

Always Another Apocalypse

I completely forgot, until I got news of Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy,
that today is supposed to be the apocalypse.
Again.
I recall following the last apocalypse (not the Mayan one: that was a misinterpretation of their calendar and our own), and it was slated for 6pm Illinois Time, which may or may not be sunset in Jerusalem.
All the country’s pious radio stations abruptly quieted, as if to mimic
the sudden blackening of the Earth, like people wouldn’t feel tremors beneath their feet, or hear the screams of a million sinners, before they themselves perished.
No, the last apocalypse was treated like a flip of a switch in God’s cellar as he turned off the lights after retrieving his spare can opener.