Chorography by Martin Willitts Jr.


I had a flash — our bodies turned
to cremation ashes — in a forest,
memory is waiting, large as broad leaves
in shimmering rain of cello notes.
A whole continent of sadness
was emptying its dreams
like tap shoes dancing.

Then a tsunami of constellations
hastened hysteria like whirling Sufi,
our names chanting off the tiles and walls
in a metronome precision.

I was in that trajectory of loss,
clutching a prayer shawl,
begging for more time
to be with you. And from faraway,
you listened, and it did not prevent you
from swiveling your head
like a passion flower
seeking light
in the darkest midnight corner.

We conversed in the after-world,
still not tired of each other
and the patter of vowels
were the symphony of caring.

As quickly as I had shifted to daydream,
I’d transitioned back into reality —
this other memory, still echoing
like descending footsteps
dancing away.

Outside, the calla lily sun was in the lavender sky,
placing one foot in front of the other, step
by elusive step. When you approached,
my heart exalted-leapt like a male ballet dancer
jack-knifing into the stratosphere.

And, o, the overtones of mysterious light were everywhere!
All I needed was cedar waxwings in the early music
among the rosewood, or a corona of sun opening in a blue lake.

by Martin Willitts Jr.

Martin on Facebook

Editor’s Note: The startling imagery (metaphor, simile, personification) of this poem carries the reader through turbulent emotions. The final stanza is elegiac as it closes the narrative.


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