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An Object for the Sun God


by Robert Salley


and she ran away

with a violence

stabbing at her knees and feet

 

dissolving into the wetness  

of winter air

 

her face, now

only a 3x4 snapshot

lost in a sea

of other imprisoned moments

scattered

on a living room floor

 

I can move the thin

flat pile; searching

but all that is left is

a memory of soft blue eyes

and medicine that won't heal.

 

this one was abandoned

a splinter

left under the skin

pushed out by protective flesh

over timeā€¦

over pain and infection

 

it peels apart

and shows off the insides

a place where secrets

are stored; protected

away from idol hands

in the back pocket

of frayed blue jeans

and a forgetful mind

 

in here,

past drawn curtains,

and stain-glass windows,

she can see me

stranded

on my island of the past

holding each picture
up to the light
like an offering
objects for the Sun God

 

“not this one”

“nor this one”

 

it's the one

with her arm

around my neck

our two wild smiles

and the statue

of Nike

in the background

headless and
wings spread out

 

“Where?”

 

gone

reversed back to blackness

and I remain the madman

hoarder

of images; of a face

ten years younger

than it was

yesterday.

 

 

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