Apr/May 2001  •   Poetry

Two Poems

by Julie Nondorf

7:00 A.M. on Jefferson St.

at the shadow
as a trailing
tire tracks past
bushes bearing
their poison fruit
in the bright sunlight.
What kills a kitten
behind the rotting
walls in the garden
shed? I saw
sunlight shafts
in bicycle spokes
and the quiet,
tickly grasses
which grow
in the lines
of a cracked
and bleeding sidewalk.
Silent is the neighborhood
where a river hushes
through the sharp
and slimy rocks.
The moss grows and waves
Its shiny hair, Hello!
My arms
Too thin
And pale-like.


Three Ways to Die

There are ways to die
that are unbloody.
Ways that don't leave bloated
corpses floating on the face
of a glistening lake
on a calm summer morning,
or stuffed in the dumpster
behind the Laundromat:

deaths inside that roil
and snake, ripping
all the pain from the inside
out like a pregnancy gone bad;
deaths that can be worn
across the face—a gladmask;

deaths that burn
in the seat of the pants
like so many spankings
after a bloody nose
that you didn't give;

deaths that form
slowly by silence:
a hard cancer gnawing
at the core of the future—
an unbloom curling
from blue to black.