Remaining Silent

            I don’t say no
though the caliper stretches the skin;
though aquatic lizards drown and the blind woman
climbs onto a sepulchre in Rome to announce herself,
in this night galaxy, the only one who sees.
            Then again the trees brown and reflect
like a line of ferric oxide on the iron
sheets of an autumn lake
and I don’t say yes.
            I don’t say yes
to stars like beads of glass on cloth
or to pendants of water held
by tension on the rose-stem’s wax.
            And then again I don’t say no
to cancer cells like pyrotechnics caught in time
or to the statues that lay unfinished still
though the tools that made them anything at all
have succumbed themselves to rust and rot.

B. T. Joy is a British poet and short fiction writer living in Glasgow. He has also lived in London, Aberdeen and Heilongjiang, Northern China. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in magazines, journals, anthologies and podcasts worldwide, including poetry in Yuan Yang, The Meadow, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Numinous: Spiritual Poetry, Presence, paper wasp, bottle rockets, Mu, Frogpond and The Newtowner, among many others. His debut collection of poetry, Teaching Neruda, was released in 2015 by Popcorn Press and his 2016 collection Body of Poetry is also available through Amazon. He can be reached through his website:

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