Two poems by James Galvin
When I Rest
When I rest my head over her heart,
I can hear the rowing,
Paddle-splash and oarlock-knock;
I can feel the pull
Into the swiftest run.
I can hear the current's pleas for silence,This is important,
The better to hear her heart.
I feel like a blue feather in her skiff.
The river loves the sea, which absently
brushes its hair, waiting.
Unconcerned by the separation of lovers
The sea has tides.
The tides have swells.
The swells have waves
From so much brushing.
When we glide asea, it's sunset so
We get to watch the river become the rose.
A Cast of Thousands
Want some violence? I thought so.
A young buck jumped the barded-wire fence
But misstepped an dcaught a hind leg
In the twist of top wire and next-
To-top wire. He hung head down and fought.
You can imagine the rest. Just try.
The slow death, the opacity of eyes.
How long do you think it took? Guess.
Terror that flailed the grass down to dirt,
That scraped the dirt down to rock and kept scraping
Before the sacred shock set in,
Hypothermia, the last heart-thud.
That spring I found the emptied carcass
Hanging. I was fixing fence.
By then the violence was gone.
It was just a skeleton with ribbons
Of hide lifting in the breeze.
On the ground a mount of fur where
Red ants were busy living.