Near the Quarry

That black stone is there again
erratic, in the throat and heart,
clogging the channels of music.
I can’t speak. I carry momentous weights
into the winter. A beautiful valley
fills with snow. The red birds streak
like bright emergencies. I have stopped
near the quarry to honor the drowned children.
Their November bodies washed up again
on the troubled shore.
This is the century of perishing leaves,
of frail gold finally gone
into the darkness of pupils.
I walk alone into the emptiness of fields
where I find once again
only these drained seedpods of light.

Seth Jani lives in Seattle, WA, and is the founder of Seven CirclePress. Their work has appeared in American Poetry Journal, Chiron Review, The Comstock Review, Rust + Moth and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. Visit them at

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