James H Duncan

Yeah, I couldn't resist adding a couple poems that take place in Albany in the hometown issue. Hope you enjoy.


Natural End


it feels right
to remember how much
I loved you
but how right it
was for things to find
their natural end,
a feeling that comes over
me and over me when I take
the path through the
cemetery forest
where the snow falls in
small thin folds
among the leaves and
headstones and
naked grey trees standing
alone, together





Attack


the cat came over on cool padded feet
and sniffed my scent once before sinking
its teeth deep into the muscle of my hand

of course my boot missed the scrambling
fury of spindly black legs dashing back
into the night, eyes dimming to nothing

bloodied raised lines etched a song into
my skin and a wailing into my teeth;
the pangs of evil made music so firm

now the streetlights show nothing but long
empty sidewalks with no homes and no
way to know north from south, east, west

yellow is a feeling in the bones, sickly sweet
and puss-filled with hallucinations;
water cannot wash away the sound of thunder

faucets run somewhere as hallways echo an order
in triplicate, the sleek walls hinting midnight,
the comfort of a white towel streaked with blood

as that cat breathes heavy in the night, foams wild
with anticipation of God’s seismic lacerations;
until then, eyes watch in silence, and the moon too

(Originally appeared in Dealing with the Devil in the Middle of the Road, 2012)   


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