If you love, adore the moon. If you rob, steal a camel.

Stories for the Long Silk Road

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Michael H. Brownstein: The Man with the Booming Voice

He begins:

            I am the ugly man
            Full of gross pimples and grand chaos.
            I take the air from beauty
            And swell its words until they burst.
            Come to me if you seek mistreatment.
            I’ll schedule you into my calendar.
            Sunsets? A time for desperate men.
            Dawn? The waking of the depressed.
            Let me pencil you in.
            I have not eaten happiness today.

She answers:

            All that I held I let go to you.
            I wanted marriage, children,
            To be an adult within this skin.
            I was blindsided, anger
            Not a part of me, nor hatred.
            I am who I am. This is enough.

He continues:

            And you think passion wise?
            Your worn slogans worth it?
            I am bad breath and bad teeth,
            Dandruff and crusted scalp.
            Who made you so special?
            Who made you think you were needed?

She replies:

            There is always a prism in the rain,
            A glint of gold in the palisades,
            Rainbows beneath clear current—

He interrupts:

            I am the man with the big voice.
            I am the one who shoulders responsibility.
            Broken glass also owns prisms.
            Spilled oil holds rainbows, too.
            Pyrite is the best fool’s gold—

She interrupts:

            And the man with the booming voice
            Is the biggest fool of all.

He answers:

            Maybe…Maybe not…
            I like the snow.

She says:

            And I like walking in it.

            Perhaps shredded skin hides things not obvious.
            Perhaps there is something to anger, to boasting.
            Maybe you are like me and perfume cannot cover it,
            Nor a voice like yours, incoherent and insecure.
            I have steady hands. They are both smooth and kind.
            Here. Let me have yours. Let me see how it is.

(He offers her his hand.)

            Yes, there are things gross and full of themselves.
            This is not one of them.
            Come. There is something to softness.
            Today feels like a day of perfect.
            I have heard you whisper my name.

He says:
            And I have listened to you whisper mine.
            Softness is peace
            and softness is all I have ever needed.

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Silk Road Mantra

by Suchoon Mo

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road

I go and go

from west to east

I go and go

from east to west

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road


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