portion of the artwork for A.E. Reiff's poetry

Cogwheels
A.E. Reiff

When cogwheels came I was driving late in the hills,
etheric wheels in the sky,
a wheel in the middle of a wheel,
two hands held gold flares.

I made up reasons for this:
the oven had not completely baked,
it's hot and I am cold,
the future is not known,
I saw those things without knowing.

Close the curtain now, turn out the light,
Bolivian wool over shoulders. Whole cloth lies
to honor the living of a fragile age of sleep.
I go in and out of consciousness.
Guardians watch my driving like I am a blowing leaf,
or seeing in the sky faces open.

Transparent readies for rooting need a priest,
a moment of lilies for skin, the joints of bone,
avenues of a city that can’t be touched.
I pace the lines, fathom the bends,
oxygen leaving lungs, tongues speak of a myth the water fed,
streams before the river was wet, fed currents, boats and flood.

Libérer le symbole played in my head,
a ditty of water by swans.
No symbol turned sunset that evening,
the literal masked the rose and rising sun,
stood for things that had to be normal,
sheered down to light before tongue.

Those who died among the flowers number bone,
give speeches at court, coeur in the blood,
brain making sense, replicated order,

Cogwheels dismissed as visions of light
that consecrate a mass, terms of service at the start
that speak the body’s mind to the heart.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 38 | Fall 2012