by Kyle Doty Another Poem About TragedyI told you your sins were absolved.
I did not tell you that I don’t have the authority.
So I’m a liar.The truth is without you there wouldn’t be a tragedy. If my life were a film, you’d be the antagonist with a sinister smile, always a trick up your sleeve; it’s because in the film you’d have already emptied the contents of the vault into your bag and for the duration of the story they’d be picking through clues to find you.But once they find you, film’s over. It’s because there’s nothing left to see. Who wants to watch a movie with no bad guy? No one goes to see a film where nothing happens.Like I said, you bring the tragedy.All I do is play priest after the bad deed is done and deliver you the news that it was all a fraud.
Ceiling FanYour long vulnerable body, asleep,
presents itself like someone
timid for affection—
me feeling like a voyeur,
a purveyor of skin.I’ve witnessed the terror of
you sleeping alone, your back
to your lover—your exotic
dreams the only sensuous touch.And when you’re not alone,
in a tangle of arms and feet,
your mouth hole open exposing
the blackness of your throat,
from which escapes the shortsounds of ecstasy—I, a prophet,
can see you’re still alone—trapped in some locked-away
Five Month TriptychNot yet Independence Day The day before July fourth.
The sun envelops the body in
its iron grip—
twenty minutes at the playground
today was all even the children could bear. All the stores are packed with
holiday shoppers and those who
just let out of church—it was easy
to spot the church-goers:
the children are bundles of energy,
the mothers’ dresses are clean and pressed,
fathers happy, like the children,
to be up and moving, ready to eat. We visited our friend’s baby.
She slept the whole time.
First in her mother’s lap
and then in her father’s arms.
II. Moved inThe moving truck was parked
and reparked three times
in the driveway—a space larger than our front yard
at the old house. The house that
maybe still expects us to returnone day and press our ears to
her side to hear her secrets—
Her anxiety because the manwho enters her each evening
is still a stranger even though
it’s been three months.By near October there are
still boxes in the corners
of rooms and the kitchenwe began remodeling
is still in shambles.The old house sighs so
deeply I can hear her from
here.It’s the sound of children’s
feet slapping against her
floorboards she misses most. III. Academic YearSomeone once told
me work is hard by design.
Adam made it so
in the garden with
that apple and his
lady friend.Others tell me Christ
the Eternal Immanuel
redeemed it all down
to the single last tittle
Que Natus EsWith the first soft flurries came the long fingers of pain.By the time the world was white, it was time to go. The roads were cordoned off in places. So early in the morning, most people were home, still in bed, under thick comforters, electric blankets; men asleep, nude, pressing themselves against their lovers.The deserted streets under the cold glow of the moon must have been something to see: radiant glory, trees illuminated by light and ice the way a cobweb reflects the morning sun.I came screaming into the sterile light.I had not mastered anything. I had not tasted the acidity of hate. I did not, because I could not, feel the fire of love.I was the only one. There was no one in my universe, yet.For a while, under a heat lamp, a small cotton hat atop my head the shape of a cone because I was plunged from darkness, I was still.Then I was taken to my mother. About the Author:Kyle Doty lives in Florida where he works as a virtual teacher. He has had two collections of poetry published by Apprentice House Press. Hush, Don’t Tell Nobody was released in 2015 and Winter Lightning in 2016. His books are available on Amazon and online at Barnes and Noble. He is at work on his next collection of poetry.