Monday, June 3, 2013

Nathan Curtis Warner

Of A River Running North

The wind or the clatter of waiters in the way
wrapped every word of theirs in wrinkling foil
making my stomach push my heart up
into my throat and my throat up into my ears
to try and tell my brain what I was actually hearing.

She was there and I was here.
I could lean back in my chair
and hear the subtle conversation
only whispers to the wind's howl
my bottles had piled on the table
all i needed was a washtub basin
a thick string and a stick tall enough
to play a thump-thwack rhythm section
to their melodies.

“no shin do los ca baltool
pree pree I do lonoco batere”

His hand winding his knuckles around her thigh
inching slow slow slow with each word 
I could only see from my spoon and I knew

“duba no lan caltonle soudy ma keep
no ple no ple duno can le monda”

So I hopped a freight in hopes of trade,
this life for the next and whatever in between.
When I found my nieces and nephews
riding elephants on the shores of a river
beside the tracks their father built
I got right back on, never to be here.

“frendaln formora doka freetsay laka metso
pela mainlean rutobela kepsang toolo sayt”

There I stayed, his fingers forever burned in mid-crawl
against the walls of my memory
slowly walking up between her thighs.

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