Alla Breve

Edward Mayes

I have only watched someone turn the auger,
Cutting through the obvious ice, in a belief
Of that which is swimming below. Neither of us

Was wrong, even though for me, I couldn’t wring
Belief out of a stone, either a stone I might have happened
To throw through a basement window, my aim off,

When I really had wanted just to scare the cat
Who hides under the porch where the sparrow family
Lands, after the bread the redhead in the house

So innocently throws out after breakfast, or the stone
That burns a hole in my right pocket, clicking against
Another stone, two unknown stones, their clicking

Changing when I jump, their clicking changing when
I’m sleeping. What’s above the ice, what’s below
The ice, like heaven running parallel to hell. It’s like:

Tibia, meet Fibula, but there’s an ankle between them
To separate them eternally. O skeleton, may I dress up
Like you again come the next All Hallow’s Eve, the end

Of light, I so need some shiny bones to see farther,
For the border between what’s here and what’s not here
But wants to be here is thin and with a bit of osmosis

Everything will be sucked in from one side
To the other, like one bomber whispering kaboom
To another bomber. Or better yet, shoot out the words

That will throw a net over the poem in this room,
To set it free, where the chandelier won’t be a bother,
Where it can be taken by the wind on the other side

Of the window. Go, go, go, go, go. Is that enough direction?
Can we find the way out even after we never found
The way in, a drill we can’t any longer remember

Having ever lost, such as the last time the temporal lobes
Flashed, the flicker of the far, or the forehead kneaded,
As a final prayer of the ayes and nayes, those who sing praise

In cut time, who can see that which goes beneath a foot
Of ice, cold but not still, notes in the darkness moving
So fast no one will even be able to really ever sing them.

Behind the times; an embarrassment of ashes; to encumber, hamper, abash, faze, rattle; ashes, to burn, glow, arson, ardent, azalea, ardor; altar, hearth; light tunnel, dark room; hallelujah chorus by stagecoach; broom, vroom; are you, it is; also the tetragrammaton is a four letter word; tibia/fibula, malleolus; parallel to hell, yellow; pis aller, the last resort; the poem in the room; so-called; alla breve, cut time, 2/2, a c with a vertical line through it; cutting the circle, auger, anger, angle, angle