[b]Allegory of X[/b]

Being chased toward
a cliff in the night
that divides land
from the absence of land
with no warning save
the gravel that tumbles
away from itself.


Gleaming water-skimmers race,
stop, start, collide and multiply,
converge–instant constellations–and disperse
over a widening puddle.

[b]A River[/b]

The current takes
lull and rapids
into a circle
with no tangent
at stream or sea.
Soil from the banks
is gathered,
sold in pouches
for its powers,
among them
shaping waters
and, in spring,
reversing their course.

[b]Further Shores[/b]

The sea that roars
gently in a shell
also crashes in a cup
held to the ear,
among other vessels
whose tides have only
to be taken up;
their further shores, named.

[b]Grand Canyon[/b]

For epochs, water
has cut with clear knife

and worn with slow polishing
layered depths of rock
while, for epochs, rock
has dammed the floods deeper,
dissolving into hosts of currents
that, slowing, leave
sediments of future stone
or, flowing by, build
stalactites in caves downstream.

[b]One Flesh[/b]

How could we prove
than the sum of our parts?

We’re already two backs,
four ankles, twelve saliva glands,
forty digits.
And more.
We are already eight tear ducts,
countless illusions.

by J. D. Smith (c)2002
([email]smitros34 [at] hotmail [dot] com[/email])

[b]Author’s Note:[/b]
J. D. Smith’s publications include the collection The Hypothetical Landscape (Quarterly Review of Literature Poetry Series) and the edited anthology Northern Music: Poems About and Inspired by Glenn Gould (John Gordon Burke). J. D.’s poems have been nominated for Pushcart Awards in 2000 and 2001, and his prose has appeared in American Book Review, Connecticut Review, and Literal Latte.

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