Image by Benj Ceen

Possessed by forgetful memory, we live life by season

the dark summer with a shower as it goes down south

as the branches hang to shadow over us in fear at dusk,

masked by the dark eyes of the city empty in a fog dawn,

‘Where have all the people gone?’

to where a city sits upon fruited trees, reflecting footfall in the snow,

the strange winter, the firebirds on the stone that was warm in the light,

we are unheard as the river beats out the dance of cigarette shells

on lonely nights in the spring, summer, autumn, winter;

spring falls, departed the dusk wept,

we sleep through our songs,

a pocketful of cities once waiting in New York

being foretold as empty; the phantom, undesired, coasts through our streets,

exploring with indifference, a kiss to most all,

walking to distant lovers.

The globe has crept with red

and it sails through relent,

the wind is forgotten

vanished like the sea, passing with patience,

over the water among the desert.

Solitude has no sound; silence is mad upon the grey roads,

and I do not know anyone at all

who will swarm outside in the city, the street,

for out of fear, they will become the blood of a silent war.

Stood beyond the shore and sea, I can count the rain that has brought

the stones into the salty winds; it has no light, it has no sound,

only walking alone in silence of naked shores

that prepare us in fear as we sleep.

We have lingered among one as tribe,

wondering who else feels the same; look out every window,

it is the same,

look at every road, it is empty,

merely a shadow in a deeper silence;

look out again: the coffee shops, the dark temples and churches,

the buildings, the leaves that once blossomed onto each tree

now fallen onto the ground, trembling,

from the wind, betrayed in loneliness.

But, do not forget the breath of wind, 

or the sea-light

that terrorizes and flirts the cold evening,

do not forget the fallen leaves 

or the bloom of silence

that is willing from our lips. 

Do not forget the summon of breath from internal dread, 

for what we now fear is different from what we last had feared,

and do not forget the hunting wind

as it once brought relief over to lovers, family, and friends across the world.

by Ellie Onka

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