Leveler Poetry Journal
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the soul does not prevent the available hand from singing

the soul is a piano a list

of potentiating signifiers

pointing out the line between

this coffee mug and this

deck of cards. the soul

is a nest the soul is

rain on the submarine

the soul is the soul is

one hand trying to be two

thoughts simultaneously

rehearsing a part in a play

as yet unwritten but sensed.

the way horses standing

in the dark are sensed.

the tree was cut down because

the storm revealed its age

and its age said this tree

is not sustainable no eventually

it will fall or a branch loosed

in the wind will maim a nun.

so when the men came to cut

I wasn’t there I couldn’t

say so long thank you you

were my soul those early

janitorial mornings in which

I tried to keep up with so many selves

the air was swarming with selves.

I parked in my spot and no one

not a single person noticed

the juggernaut I was towing on this

rickety dolly boom squeaking past

the birds harvesting twine.

and instead of the tree the birds

find my ledge and sing this speechless river

looks hard as bark in the early morning

sun painting the smokestack

hard as bark. the birds take what

souls are offered. and though I know

this I press it against my skin:

to be alone enough on a Sunday

afternoon to listen to the wind

separate what leaves are left

from January trees as the sun sets

around seagulls come miles

from shore just to be here

as the sun throws up its hands

because I don’t notice the old man

at the end of the drive waving

at nothing because I’m certain

I know what weather is coming.

so certain I can plan into the aether.

I can plan right into the red

picnic basket and walk away

from it and lie down on the hillside

full of my loneliness. full of

the voices that canter about

what winter was and how

we boiled our survival right down

to this moment cresting like the hill

I climbed to get away from

the private madrigal in the mirror

posturing in recompense for

what wasn’t said on a picnic table

or in the expiring light of a stairwell

or at least met with distaste

by the looming statuary of the soul

as the train started sliding

and with it the world

I thought I’d caught

the vixen. but it pranced

through the smoke of a thousand

cigarettes and never came back.

Dan Chelotti