Kyle Harvey

Two Poems


The soil is soiled by the blood of a child,
the soil is soiled
the soil is soiled by blood,

a flower blooms, a child reborn in the musty breaths
of layered gray, in the musty breaths
of mountain caves, in the musty breaths
from the west near Thrace.

In the comfort of angels a child has starved,
in the comfort of angels
in the comfort of angels a child,

the last of his soprano muffled by a rush,
a clash of altos in the winds of green,
roots held down by first priests,
in the rush of wind a child has starved.

The child is laid upon a bed
of ash and willow, dirt and leaves,
under a blanket, the black leather of night.

To mourn at the end, in the shortness of days,
to mourn in the weary corners of grief,
to mourn in darkness, hour after hour

in the dark’s black tar mastic,
in the cold whore moan
of lonely nights, we mourn,
we mourn, we mourn, we mourn.

When the hot sick panic begins to boil,
when the hot sick panic
when the hot sick panic begins,

nothing but emphatic Holy static
nothing but Holy static
nothing but
nothing but Holy

The Holy static fades away,
the Holy static slowly
the Holy static slowly fades,

the days grow longer, the weight shifts,
the hell of night begins to lift,
spring’s firstborn spills from blue,
bulbs upturned at the end of their stems.

Piles of cold dry bones near the mouths of caves
brought back to life by the will of Zephyr,
brought back to life by the will of his breath,
to the west in vanished layers,
layers and layers and layers of gray. Still

every year we mourn in darkness,
every year we mourn the blood of a child,
a child starved in the comfort of angels,
every year we mourn for Hyacinth
in the tight black leather of night.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Orange

The swerve of carts at market,
pretend not to see it,
to bend over is below them,
for an orange on the floor in aisle.

A wedge, on the sideline
at halftime, as teeth.

Voices raised
across the kitchen table,
atop a quiet bowl
of oranges.

An orange hovers the sky of impression,
the glow of Monet’s sunrise.

An orange thrown overboard,
by Archibald Menzies as far as he can,
out into the Pacific, where it floats for five days,
before rolling up the North Shore.

Peeled an orange with a seashell
upon the hill in Dolores Park
the trill of rind mist
up and over the Mission.

I shiver a bitter mistake,
this is not an orange,
but a grapefruit!

Well, maybe only eight.
We can’t all be Wallace Stevens,
in study of an orange.

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