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Beth Konkoski


Ice Trees


Winter afternoon

the puddles are sequined

in frozen light.

I crunch through mirrors

and storm shards,

my wild feet like wrecking

balls and the landscape’s only

sound.  The white veneer

so settled on branches only

days ago has worn, leaving 

the woods unclothed, stark

as a bomb site where bodies 

line the street. But near

the creek where water,

although sluggish, still lives,

the trees sway in diamond 

waltzes with the breeze 

and glint their beauty in surges,

defying those who would

lock it safely away.




Now I See the Drawing You Made


Your sketch of me, smudged on the ridge

by your left hand, a curse, this course your

fingers trace, to trail a trace of what I mean

to you.  Sorry you say, without meaning it,

for the dulling of my eyes that I dolled for

you, the careless, careful way you show 

me not to care.  I learn the lessons as you 

lessen your intentions. Stuck as a seed 

deep in my gums, your memory takes

unruly root, breaks skin, the rules, my heart

with these strokes of charcoal on the page

when you won’t even stroke my arm 

as it waits beside you in the wake

of affection, the ripple I wanted to call love.




A Summer Afternoon When I Avoid the Page


I work the creek bank

instead, watch the water

twine and serenade

like rope, pretending

it’s research.  Because

I am focused on the corner

of light and shadow,

those golden coins of sun

minted by the water’s

motion, I miss the fish

on the bank until

its tail flips a few startled 

inches and resettles.

Nearly covered by 

the ink black mud,

its sides cave in slowly

in this foreign world of air.

The troubled purse of mouth

shifts on its hinge and a thin

rivulet of blood moves

with a staggering pulse

through the hole where

a hook has been left.






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