ISSN 1545-2859




               DAVID CAZDEN

Bleeding Hearts

guard the gate
to my parents' house
where paint flecks

off the wooden trim
and pale shutters sag
splintering onto the bricks'
carpet of green moss.

Knees of errant maple roots
buckle the blacktop
as if our legs
were trying to rise

from beneath the ground.
But the gate still opens
through the rust,
the latch lifting easily
as a button holding down

a summer night.
Here, at the fence's edge,
the grass is flattened by wind

as if we were still lying down.
The ground now choked with tubers,
big as fists
with whole flowers inside.

And the eaves are inhabited
by squirrels and birds,
the grass unkempt
with acorns and oak-seeds.

For the one week I am back,
I half think to call.
I could run up the steps
past the wildflowers,
in the sudden morning,
feel your hand
on the other side
of the screened in patio door.


She had captured us
with a dancer's body
and fragile personality
that rubbed off
like the dust from moth wings.

We reclined in her well-cushioned room--
Traces of old incense
uncurled down the hall,
Perhaps it meant nothing,
a bare shoulder of plaster
drawn behind purple drapes,
or the sky turned inward,
its cheek of violet shadow
in the pink rouge of clouds.

Yet when I was asked to leave
the boundaries changed--
I held in my words
walking home among the evening birds

already gathered, waiting
for sunrise
on the lawn.

Copyright © 2004 David Cazden. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.