Eileen G'Sell


It was nobody's winter, the shoes, the shoes
that brought us here were burned today.

My mouth mispronounced meat.
Spoonful of sea salt and a pillaged lime.
There were grape leaves we couldn't

get to, an attic without a home, and all the time
I kept saying, "Whatever they tell you,
don’t forget."

You forgot. The ocean swallowed. And my tongue
pretended to care. Or maybe it was the stupid
ruse of my own impossible quiet. Hey, kiddo,

hey, God, did you think this was going to happen?
The ladies selling lotion found us really, really funny.
Everything obvious smelled of ore

and fingerprints from Toronto. If you want to know
the truth, know the numbers that I come from,
know empiricism, speed, flowers buried in the dark.

I was only afraid of the silence, see.
I had sacrificed the handsomest months
of my life. The shore cleared out so slowly

I couldn't believe that you went with it.
Like a blind child who takes the arm of his brother,
his brother, who is also blind.






Check out The Night Gwen Stacy Died by novelist Sarah Bruni. No relation to my poem, but it is Seriously Stellar. My poem's ending was inspired in part by the 1999 Iranian movie The Color of Paradise.