A Gathering of Four

This man (curled into
      himself) sits outside
the turnstiles of Washington Street Station
      right at the maw of the vast
subterranean Pedway
      moaning with errant winds.
His cardboard sign faces his lap.
      Dirt and thirst are kneaded
into the fibers of fleece.

            ***

Picasso’s old, blue
      guitarist is blocks away,
propped up
      by a cheap guitar.
His face – cadaverous,
      fallen forward;
sunken eyes –
      drawn shut as dry husks.
No warmth radiates
      from cyan skin draped
over gentle bones.
      No music escapes
this blind guitar.

            ***

As if trying to bow
her long-forgotten
cello, my grandmother
                        full of grace
breaks the prayer circle,
starts to wail
in dissonance with
                        blessed
winds at the window pane
                        among women
Rosary beads dangle
                        blessed
as two aunts
regather her hands
                        of thy womb
These tendoned talons
                        Mother, pray for us
pull and flex
with the banshee cries
                        at the hour of our death.
She writhes;
her eyes dart. Her tongue
flicks
from her cavernous mouth.

            ***

Grandfather’s hands flutter;
      one gently, one not.
He speaks softly, too
      softly and too rapidly.
He rocks to propulse
      from the chair, to beat
those who would push him
      back into its cradle.
They’ll ask, what
      do you want? One
more time. Just say
      that again. Just one
more time.

Jaffa Kintigh has previously been published in di-verse-city and Tres di-verse-city as part of the Austin International Poetry Festival. He received his M.A. in Creative Writing—Poetry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, having previously studied poetry at Iowa State University and the University College of Wales in Swansea. Jaffa resides in Chicago, IL, USA, where he’s writing an urban fantasy series. His blog: Jaffalogue.

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2 Responses to A Gathering of Four

  1. jaffakintigh says:

    Reblogged this on Jaffalogue and commented:
    The Eunoia Review has posted my poem “A Gathering of Four.” Please check it out.

  2. Pingback: A Gathering of Four | My BlogThe Philosopher's blog.

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