Jul/Aug 2007 Poetry


by Joseph Kerschbaum

Photography by Kawika Chetron


(after 4 boys drowned on Dec. 17, 2002 in Minnesota)

        A hairline fracture
                  opens                                        and swallows
                                        the boys.

                  Like a child gasping
                  during an asthma attack,
        the frozen mouth sucks in what life it can.
                                        The boys are inhaled
                  as quietly as naked branches
                                                                      shaking in no wind.

The incident happens so suddenly
                                                                      it almost doesnít


                               Slow freezing is peaceful.
                                               The auditorium of the lungs fills
                  with no applause but the open mouths
                                                                   of a shocked audience
                                               who canít accept
        how quickly
                  and quietly
the end comes.


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