Joan, Glass Poetry



When the girl dies in martyr stories    her cut head goes on singing or testifies         
silence is all we get from the dead in this century    or a ghost

on the screen animated        by hand in technicolor segmentation   
geodesic distance     Joan the Woman red and yellow of flames   

heightening the dramatic effect
On the front lines   over rapeseed and sunflowers

soldiers sing Wiseblood    sing between two languages
between story and a song, history in the making     splicing moment

   to moment          your eyes keep looking past   his

eyes keep looking past what you are looking at
Here we are still bound in this world’s sob and heave

and it’s hard to know what century it is even    finally dawns on us


it doesn’t even matter in the least     How beautiful you were girl

   hair shimmering like fish scales beside the Black Sea
where we camped in summer   your brother cried when he caught a trout  blood

dripping from its sucking mouth            and now where has your brother gone?
Waves crashed into the sand and disappeared       but kept reappearing

and the crawfish  hid in their burrows
for a long time the moment felt like a door on the hinge of the world
and without it the water would pour up into the sky   Genesis undone

the final deluge   just like all God’s broken promises
It was you who threw the fish back into the waters               and said no
I am not afraid of the world’s end