Jul/Aug 2000 Poetry

Two Poems

by Susan Gorgioski


Quiet the Knife

The knife that cut you,

the one with an ebony blade
that punctured your thoughts--
I watched you smile, sit
between a man
wearing a Panama hat, and a woman
knitting a shawl of pearls.
I was too late.

I buried that knife today,
buried it alive, wrapped
in a Panama hat, then covered
the earth with a shawl.


Did I Kill a Man

I killed a man,
moved all the furniture in my bedroom,
but I couldn't find a body.
I made a cup of coffee, threw away
the cereal boxes, and looked
in the fridge.

Staccato clicks on the other end
of a wake-up call:
You're in Vienna.

Yesterday, I was in Tokyo,
kneeling in a Jinja, fingers
reading whorls in plain
shades of wood.

Shinto priest wouldn't take my call;
I flipped the bell above the altar.

I killed a man, a man without a body.
He comes to see me; he's not angry,
doesn't blame me.
He wants to know where I put his body,
because he still needs it.
I give him my hand, and promise
to help him find it.


An earlier version of "Did I Kill a Man" can be found online in the current issue of Conspire.


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