Two Poems by Kathleen Flowers

El chiste

La calavera arroja su cabeza
hacia atrás y sale un grito,

no es un grito temerario, mas
se estaba riendo, riéndose de ella misma,

de esta vida tan pequeña que termina
cuando nos despertemos.

Fuera del negro abismo, fuera de su boca
surgen rosas, cruces, y centavos

de oro. No puede parar
de reír.

The Joke

The skull throws her head
back and out comes a scream,

not a reckless scream, but more
like she’s laughing, laughing at herself,

at this small life that ends
when we wake ourselves.

Out of the black chasm, out of her mouth
fly roses, crosses and gold

coins. She cannot stop


On Another Continent

Afraid of missing you so much I’ll miss
what’s here before me, I strap on blinders
against my longing and quip, It’s Zen
to stay in the present, all the while
bumping into the dullness.

But when I let myself yearn for you,
I become this city with all its bells
in all its churches ringing all at once-
their big, brass hearts bonging along
with mine in a cacophony of exuberance.

When I risk a loneliness I may not
Be able to bear, I become instead
sudden rain splashing the drowsy lake.
I become all its waves and ripples
radiating out across its shivering surface.

I become all the ducks turned upside down,
feeding on every morsel of every memory.
I am the geese and their inelegant honking,
running upon the water, soon flying back to you.

Kathleen Flowers