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Contributor Notes




Maya Asher

Marguerite Guzman Bouvard

Marguerite Guzman Bouvard

 

 

Night

 

Reflections sculpt the room

from the long window:

a half open door,

 

light from a single lamp.

The mountain bares

its silvery sheen and immensity

 

enters, the jet-blue

velvet of space

against the window.

 

The blanket is flung back

where the sweet warmth

of skin thrills the palm,

 

where news from the day’s

trenches casts shadows

and silently, grief slips in.

 

 

 

 

Still in Combat

 

There are scenes   that never leave

the mind   gathering up   the limbs

of a comrade   opening   a car door

only to see   a dead woman

with her children   the merciless heat

of a desert   reappearing

on a beach. There are   sounds

remaining   no one else  can hear

sparked   by a door   slamming,

the whine   of a vacuum cleaner.

There are fears   of open spaces   a picnic

in the middle   of a meadow

unease   at people   walking too

close behind   at being

in a crowd   night   after night

going to sleep   and waking up 

with the ghosts   of the killed

feeling    like a failure

for having been   unable    to protect

fallen comrades  there is   no membrane

between life   and death

after returning   from a war.

 

 

Of Time and Breath

                        For Elizabeth

 

We lingered on a green mountain slope —

just you and I in the bronzed

light, the air stilled,

time holding its breath,

 

although I knew you were in a hospital room

your sigh floating

like a feather above

the swish of footsteps.

 

But now we two were wayfarers

sharing our stories,

as if we had slipped free

from the sheaths of our distant

 

cities. Your voice was as steady

as the brushstrokes on your canvases

while I placed my hand

on your shoulder and spoke

 

of the journey beyond this mountain

that neither of us could chart.

Then I woke up.

One week later you died.