ELKE " A Little Journal": Issue 2

ELKE " A Little Journal": Issue 2

The Thirteenth Chime

At the thirteenth chime of the cuckoo’s clock

I’ll be leaving this town with my hands bound,

riding backwards on a mule.

The world I wear is a loose garment—

a crown of flies, a shroud of wind,

a jackrabbit butchered by the sun.

The horizon is undefined

like a drunken tattoo on the neck of God,

maybe it was once the outline of a rose,

now it’s nothing but a wound.

The desert crickets have disappeared,

taken their hanging song

to the highest branch in heaven

and a strong wind can slur the words

into something like a hymn.

But now it’s time to climb off this cross.

They need the wood to build another gallows.

So I will see you in the next town over—

a place where the adobe is washed

white as fallen snow and acorns are ground

beneath the cloven hooves of angels;

a place where the fossilized remains

of sea monsters swim through solid rock

and the children all have fathers.