silhouettes

my dear
so distant
you must
know
when I close
my weary eyes
light still
passes through
and when I sense
a shadow cross
I peek
in hopes
it’s you

©JEREMY RUZICH

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called once

I was spoken
not to
but into
existence
summoned
by tongue
salivating onto dust
mixed into clay
a word
sculpted
a life
you can say

I am the salve
that returns sight
to the blind
a slip upon your eyes
that cracks and contracts
as it cures and dries
you will see
and give praise
only once
I am
washed away

I am the warm breath
like wind in the cedars
hissing through teeth
and tongue and lips
the first sounds
you hear
past muddied fingertips

I am the word
scribbled on earth
a soft curved
finger width line
drawn in the sand
and you will join me here
once you let fall
the stones in your hands

I was called
once
groaned into the air
and ground into dirt
not a sentence
nearly a question
simply a living
breathing
supplication

©JEREMY RUZICH

desperate crossing

To all those who give,
or follow,
the orders;
who make a trap of
southern
spurious borders;
who tear teething sons from
desperate
crossing fathers;
who cut the tight bonds of
nursing mothers
and daughters;
who imprison the homeless,
the exile,
the other;
who implicitly seek
to bury the meek,
as Cain did
his brother –

What has been revealed
for all who have
eyes to see,
and consciences
less faulty,
is your deliberate
cruelty.

But the days are now,
coming,
you’ll see,
(though it is not my
prophecy)
when all the white lies
will be sheared from
the sheep
and the scapegoats will rise
triumphantly.

©JEREMY RUZICH

for a frightening moment

.when I was a child
.they told me
.I had a hole in my heart

..this frightened me

.but they told me
.go easy on it
.don’t strain it too much
.and you’ll be fine
.you’ll be ok

.and so
.I took it to heart
.through childhood
.through adolescence
.into my current phase
.whenever I have pushed
.my heart to near
.maximum
.and something jostles it from
.regular rhythm
.something sets it to
.excited spasm

………………….a misstep, a deep breath, a collision

.I stop
……for fear
.it might completely
…………burst open

.I withdraw
……………to a place away
.find a flat patch of ground
.on which to lay
.and wait
.for it to return
.to comfortable
.silent
.beats

.and I am fine
……………………..I am ok
.I am just fine
……………………..I am ok
.always be fine
……………………..always ok

.still
.then
.I think
.how nice it was
.to feel this heart
.for a frightening moment
..as it flubbed
..and raced
.within me
..abandoning
..all diastole
.giving its all
.just as I was giving
.my all

.but safer now
.back to quiet
………………muffled
………………….solitary
…………………….murmurs

©JEREMY RUZICH

some days

outside of my house
men in green glowing vests
and growling strong-armed machines
are filling holes
the ones they dug
only weeks ago
and all I can do is watch
as they pound the earth
back to its resting place
my floorboards shake
just as the earthquake
in Oklahoma
shook me awake
some days ago
earth heaving
and sinking
heavy lifting
and breathing

next door
a home is being made
of crushed earth
clad in white
slate gray metal roof
neighbors friends family
come and go
nothing prevents them
from showing up
no one stops them
from leaving

across the street
in the crook
of a sycamore tree
a collared dove couple
construct their spring
and summer home
no one told them
nest here
nothing prevents them
from leaving
their young

all I look for
is pieces of life
out of place
minute changes to remind me
of the frightening truth
I am earth heaving
and sighing
a path of wind
an eddy of water
a stream of consciousness
that will some day
evaporate

does a sane man
pilgrimage to places
of lingering pain
does a wise man
surrounded by friends
seek loneliness
and find it
just as the street lamps
buzz alive
and young pale couples
shield each other’s bare skin
from the cool wind at their backs

meanwhile
a bashful acrobat clad in yellow
is doing handstands for an audience of one
on a pedestrian bridge
as the opaque river
swirls on below

©JEREMY RUZICH