Elias

Elias of the new temptation
Knots his mother’s hair inside his mouth
Crawls until the world ignites beneath his skin
I feed him for the first time

Words no longer hold images
I work the language of hands
Threading pipe and inside voices
Shut-off valves, heavy sheetrock
A dissection of studs, a cleansing of vowels

Elias of the new temptations
Fills a void with early sighs
3:30 AM and a tide in the weather
I hold him for the first time

Words are made of fragile spaces
I work the language of hands
Lifting glass plating into place
Siding and mortar, posts and braces
Masonry bits and thick paragraphs

Elias of the new temptation
Takes a tentative step, then another
The railings of his safe house warm to the touch
I rock him to sleep for the first time

Words are directives and soft commands
I work the language of hands
The seams of fresh concrete against a foundation
The bending of pipe, the sanding of shelving
Replacing MDF with three-quarter-inch abbreviations

Elias of the new temptation
Sucks a knowledge from building blocks
Eyes the curtain of leaf and bark
I take him on his first hike to the ancient mounds

Words have a visual brushstroke
I work the language of hands
River stone and glass pebbles
Deep ridges and paper birch
A garden of trees built on fallen similes

Elias of the new temptation
Holds my finger deep within his tiny hand
Feels my skin, the curvature of skin
Calluses, scabs, shards of clay and ink

Michael H. Brownstein’s work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters & Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetry Super Highway and others. He has nine poetry chapbooks, including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell (White Knuckle Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Elias

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.