Peter Yovu


Eighteen. First car. Blue Chevrolet. Drove farther than ever
and pulled over to watch darkening snowclouds gather
on northern hills, circling and pawing at them.
They approached, came close, crouched over me.
I glared, defiant in my blue armor.

Same place. Seventy Two. I slouch back, eyes shut
in a kind of trance, in meditation, death’s trial run 
as the temperature drops, for maybe an hour

as the cold comes through my wool cap, through 
the eighth inch of skin covering my skull
to the skull beneath. What the hell!

Reflexively I lift a few words against it,
proto-words, noises, or just some refusal aching out of my jaws,
and now snow comes from behind without warning, 
does not melt on the glass or car hood, the road 
goes from gravel-gray to white in a matter of minutes

and I can feel the clutch of keys I’ve held in a soft fist 
all this time, feel how warm they’ve become 
when I transfer them to a colder hand, shake them 
as a gambler shakes dice just to hear them rattle
as he enters the game.

A Hallucination For Heather, Who Could Not Get Out					 

Your floorboards blister. Your chair is on its knees.
I thought I saw you walk away.
What can I say?

They are pulling your hair from a socket by your bed, 
peeling your skin from the ceiling and walls.
You saw it, you said it, worse than I can ever see or say.

What’s the use you’ d say when they said you’ll see clear sky if 
only you replace your eyes with two blue pills.
They had their way.

One day you said one day you’ll walk away, not stay, 
not hang in your closet like a suicide note pinned
to a pocket of smoke.

You had your days but they had their way.

The News					

This morning I awoke as time’s unslept clock 
and church had chimed. The day it was 
I footed this:  go ahead without me a while
I’ll harbor here but hungry too
my Sunday toast and scramble boy got up,

went down to stoop and found where 
paper rolled  in words had thud. 
Lines wounded to my brow were read, 
all ill to thresh the hold I kept, 
the iron anchor of my hardly ship now mud.

Day I saved a sky for fell so rain
no wave or wind could shift or lift me.
I stood right there where Sunday left me wrong.
What boy I’d kept threw down his bell

and in that fog glumhugged in grim
I wept for words I saw and stepping back
I up and clammed my self to bed again, 
with barnacled eyes clamped over
every motherfather hungering me.

I Left My Home															

I left my home though once
so many times one night.
One crow is all there ever was.
One night I left my home 
so many times so what 

would I become?
One hand became a lamp of blood
to read my murder by.
The other dark as innocence.
One night is all there ever was.

I left my home so many times
one night one crow was 
all there ever was to know, 
one crow into the only night.

Sometimes I Am

More and more these days I glimpse in myself someone who sneers.
Or is fearful. Or hates just about everyone.

It can happen when I’m out walking and become aware 
of a shadowy presence walking right behind me, then right into me. 
Is me. You are not me, I say. But I’m talking to myself.

It’s like having a face another face uses to look through.
It’s as if there were faces that rise from the depths 
to the surface of the sea; like having a surface-of-the-sea face 
infilitrated by another from beneath.

Like waking still drowsy on a plane when it lands
with the eerie impression that any passenger 
could be me.

I used to travel a lot. I’d see
people in the arrivals area holding up signs,
looking to connect: Cynic. Scaredy-cat. Cruel child.
Not me, I’d say to myself as I passed by.

Once there was a man whose sign was blank.
Insisting I was the one he’d been waiting for,
he took me by the arm and led me to a taxi. 

Polite as always I held the door open for him.
“You first,” I said then shut it behind him once he was in. 
I could see him weeping as the taxi pulled away.

Peter Yovu felt blessed to have a fox come to the field behind his house, a spirit presence at night with its ghostly bark. Devastated to find it dead on the road. He will bury it now his submission has been accepted.
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