Circle

Show us another way to be invisible,
like rain that can’t fall, a mannequin holding a cane,

a whip-poor-will without wings.
Blame the raven for its execrations. Call the night

by its other names. Lose all, even love.
Let go of rain; clutching fists of snow

plunge downward. Let the river hold you
in its womb, the ground bury you.

Do not move until roots emerge with the return of sun
on the verge of spring. Only then may you speak,

only then dance around fire in a cage,
under golden spires. Hunger for the inviolate peony,

white as ash, disintegrating as you flee. Rise with dust.
Begin where you end, in an immutable arc.

Enter the gate. Capture the dark
holding a translucent flower.

Raise your voice and sing with the hours,
a madrigal, or troubadour’s song.

Tarry a day, but don’t stay too long.
On the other side, they’ll be waiting with light.

Kevin J.B. O’Connor received his MFA from Old Dominion University, and will start a PhD in English program at University of Kentucky in the fall. He has published poetry in numerous journals, including Bayou Magazine, Glassworks, Flare: The Flagler Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Visions International.

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