Photograph – A poem.

Unlike the phoenix,
you will not burn when I hold
the match to your skin.

Unlike the phoenix,
you will not be reborn—
the brilliant, scarlet eruption
of feathers that dance like flame—
tiny suns falling from outstretched arms.

You are reaching for me, and the hurt
in your eyes slips past—
the satellite sailing past Pluto, drifting
deeper into the unknown.

Because I am not reaching for you.
I stare beyond you, to the rain
soaked window where you used to sit,
with hand and forehead flowered against the glass.

Unlike the phoenix,
you will not be reborn—
you will remain frozen, a slightly sad smile
that is sun faded and creased.

Unlike the phoenix,
you will not burn when I hold
the match to the glass—
though the frame has scorched.

And I simply can’t let go.

JKolasch

Critical – A Poem.

The monitor has become
a mirror.

Like a shield,
it used to separate—
creating a comfortable distance.

The barbs from fingertips
would deflect—

and forget.

Yet, the face inside
is visible—

harder to ignore.

I can see you—
or, is that me?

My eyes wet from the strain.
That’s what I tell myself.
It’s stuck in my throat—
and even reaching for water I know won’t help—
I have to look away.

But I see it.
I see you, a floating haze of words
and pictures.

Seared in my vision.

The monitor has become
a mirror.

And I,
well, I am no better
than those I criticize.

JKolasch