blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



The Earth Is Not Quiet

For Calvin Galazin

Even leaves are rattling
out of hearts. I gravel skid
and dive over my handlebars.
I know what the leaves are:

one formed from the heart of
the priest lifting this skinny boy
like some host five feet off
the altar and hanging him

from the pin in Christ's feet;
one shaped from the heart of
the German man on the line at
Dodge Truck, seventy-one years

old and he's still stretching
Cinderella's slipper
over 487 brake pedals each day,
fire and floating metal carriages

and sweat blown back around him
as if gathering in a twirling midnight
dress; another leaf for the nurse,
her fingers hollow as bone flutes

and she's piping them all night
beside her boy's oxygen tent;
another leaf for the father, who,
three hours earlier, slammed the rolling

hospital bed through doctors to find
a wall socket that would give
his blue boy oxygen. The boy
diving over his handlebars

because maybe this time the leaf
is the father's heart falling.  

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