Four Poems by Gregory Zorko

Defended

Outside with the Russian words for pain. I’m stopped by your dream catcher, myriad of feathers. Your own little Kidd-Gilchrist standing in the window.

In my dreams I am a mighty knight, a power forward, narrated by Quevedo between those gulps of milk. I cast out nets for the salmon which they pass through easily, making love in seconds. Those are the confident salmon upriver batting their tails at you.

It’s not been established whether Moses parted the sea, or the sea just shrank a bit for him, by itself. I know when I was young I could float on my back for hours. I was a little naked Moses considering nothing. That’s how I spent each morning previous to today.


Couplet

Handcuffed to the bed, but the frame itself is unattached. You can walk from this artery into the open spaces. The couplet is the place where I hide my fresh brandy. The triplet is the time when I forget it all.

You’re safe now, in the way an egg is safe. It takes great imaginations to hurt it. Watch for me when I am running with a candle, not unlike a javelin, so you will anticipate that wrong and internecine thing.

You are able to walk, or run only slightly then walk again. We should all know the loneliness that sets planets in space and dissolves even the happiest soils. It turns you into a wiry horse just to put you inside a sentence.


Beret

I want you to wear a red beret always, you’re my superior officer. I consider you one anyway, for your boot heels, the way you leak out hot orders. I marched atop the idea of kilometers, and I thought for one second that I could have you. If the prophets had swallowed their disbelief, as we do with pop music.

I go into the clouds like a drone at war, beautiful colonel. But there are no shapely bullets meant for me. When I handle them they become petals of the lilac wilting in strong heat. I’ve forgotten completely all of my joints and their desires. You’re still pretty but there is no extended symbol, nothing fits. And you’re a married woman now, to a twenty-one-year-old Ike with bold muscles.

Locked in my wooden hutch Quevedo is crying. I hear him. There is no true knight, no horse and just a little bit of armor.


The Kupa

I’m worried about the Kupa, as a real thing it is fine, as an idea it’s growing tentacles that frighten the Slovenes. The river and its naked swimmers inside it. The border on its face, not in its heart.

A piece of my family died here, maybe more than once, and I’m still standing in that spot. Every millimeter is a grave! I just realized. A centimeter is unprintable.  The river builds itself coarse with mud, with blood cells and just a little beer. Some piece of a liver, an intestine touches my bare foot, jumping through years like an oily fish.

And we can step in it again and again, the same one! Everything is left open, heaven, the empty sky, the past especially.


Profile: Grogory Zorko

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