I Am Severed Like A Simile

Malachi Black

Land’s End

by Malachi Black

When did you wake? The sheets, still
softened by your sleep, are tousled

now, and almost cold.  I turned
and, where your warmth was, all

was winter’s paw when I returned.
Come back, and lay your shiver down

beside me in this open bed: there
is no safety in the world outside

this quilt, this pillow, this bare thread.
Lie here, and let me braid your hair

until my hands are veined and old – 
and weathered as the fisherman’s.,

whose fingers cast an ancient net
into a brightness they can’t hold.


This Gentle Surgery

by Malachi Black

Once more the bright blade of a morning breeze
glides almost too easily through me,

and from the scuffle I’ve been sutured to
some flap of me is freed: I am severed

like a simile: an honest tenor
trembling toward the vehicle I mean

to be: a blackbird licking half notes
from the muscled, sap-damp branches

of the sugar maple tree . . . though I am still
a part of any part of every particle

of me, though I’ll be softly reconstructed
by the white gloves of metonymy,

I grieve: there is no feeling in a cut
that doesn’t heal a bit too much