Another September Poem

it’s history that won’t let us fly
--Bei Dao

God has amnesia.
The underworld is rife
with lamentation.
The axis is bent,
the supplicants full of
lies. On the tarmac
there’s a rose
on fire. The scream
of jets fill the
bathroom as the clouds
rise over Hel.
Funereal music hesitates.


The figure in the snow
is not an angel.
My dog sniffs it and runs.
I sit up all night
with a candle lit.
In the morning there are
two figures.


Let it burn you to the bone.
The fear—let it be
a slavering beast.
Because the question is.
Because the question.
Because what I want is.
Because I want.
To be a parent. Apparent.
To myself, my children,
the unborn that the fear
aborts. Let it burn you to the
bone. Raze your
expectations. Instead of
fighting it. Instead of.
Let yourself enter the dark
place. Let the
children know you know the
dark place. Let it
enter you. Let it.
Because you have no.
Because there is no.
Because choice is a word like
any other. And a word
can save you. A word can.
A word like vastation.
A word like fear.
The word is fear. Let it be.
Let the word. Let the word be.

COREY MESLER is the owner of Burke’s Book Store, in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals including Rattle, Pindeldyboz, Quick Fiction, Black Dirt, Thema, Mars Hill Review, Poet Lore and others. He has also been a book reviewer for The Memphis Commercial Appeal. A short story of his was chosen for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, edited by Shannon Ravenel,published by Algonquin Books. Talk, his first novel, appeared in 2002. His latest two poetry chapbooks are Chin-Chin in Eden (2003) and Dark on Purpose (2004). Most importantly, he is Toby and Chloe’s dad and Cheryl’s husband.

© 2004 Underground Voices