Two Poems by Keith Munroe

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Patty

As all eyes close against you
nothing that really matters could yield to the wisdom
with which you suffer like an amorphous shade
reaching over the desperate peaks of ancient mountains
to which neither the skies nor those impassioned deserts of religion
can take away your liberty and say
“You are all alone Patricia”
because as the hours bend into their impish gauze of sad and lecherous appellations
the new year is like an animal
guiding her gentle paws between those careless boughs
where beach trees stand against the cold
and for all these ideas the wind will wait to accept you like a lamb
who builds her harbor in those January nights as she waits for spring.

For so long I’ve said “I’ve seen enough”
and it’s easier to let time stand apart from the path
where experience bears the weight of gravity like a cross
but then we sit at the table,
two despondent idols whispering their prayers into the landscapes of Virginia
and I can last another day,
a day, a day, and then one more day again
speaking like panting hounds about the parables of old men looking in the weeds for inspiration
along the highways of America
where it can all fall apart the day after, the day after, the day after tomorrow,
when we drink coffee
look out the window and see amid the trees labyrinth a place to speak about heaven and earth.

Amid all times amalgamation of coughing Januaries
winter is a woman walking towards the promise of heat
as old men sit beside the fire
and carve seraphim from the pliable timber of some grave and whispering forest
where first they found time alone and waiting to rename the universe
in the metaphor of her innocence
I think you are her,
hollow and beautiful as the cold wind outside this house,
how lost,
how unattainable,
how full of hope,
the poetry of growing old,
or at least a day,
a weak,
a month,
another year to catch your breath
and speak to the sun.

Names Or Anything

How many too many so many sorrows it takes too long to say
I love you
but I can pass the hours talking about philosophy
because you are mine
and whether we live or die we’d still be two lonely stars
who escape the insinuations of reality
to whisper into the ether
all the names that describe to the wilderness
her ideas about heaven and earth.

And when I go home I will see you again or I never will
but wisdom takes up the space like innocence between us
if only to immerge as the suffering
that forever follows those who wander as mortal ash
into the humanity of anger
because I can curse the cancerous Atlantis of your gentle heart
if it only meant that I would be alone because I love you.

And so as if one voice out the of the emptiness
the words of Jehovah are a tongue
that tell to those who weep the story of a thousand seas
drifting over my bones as I brace myself like a tower
to stand in the cold and think of you
to see what yields to us the fortunes of tomorrow
not that it will come to be or pass away into what might have been
but that the ideas that describe it
will with their murmuring expressions
evolve into the suffering of your body,
a cross I may never bear
but admire
for its understanding
of the intemperate poetry of your flesh.

Keith Aaron Munroe was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He has spent most of his life trying to be a writer. In the past he took care of horses for a living. 

Image: Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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