Fencing Ghostly Aperture by Janet I. Buck
Two peppered beards sit down to chat.
Brothers on a battlefield—
antique qualms of childhood—
silence for a coat of arms.
Three thousand suns come and gone;
time is shrinking as they speak.
Age-old old age, a comic strip
to clip and put in scrapbooks
weathered by the rain.
Their father shorter than their frames
but taller in a clue-less way.
Something in this destiny
is aching to define its role.
I’m watching this and loving that.
One chin plays its treble clef;
the other curvatures of bass.
Music way beneath this flesh.
This bond beyond all fairy tale.
They ice fish for the squirming years.
Hands rubbed raw by ocean grit
test and trial have cast in eyes.
Two stowaways with saddle sores.
Examining the leather’s cracks.
A portrait of their innocence
is playing lightly at their feet.
Her jet black hair, the night itself.
But stars are out and clouds are not
in still lives of this reckoning.
It is right to clear this land,
bulldoze smarting frowns and words.
They are builders, all of them.
One with easels, two with wood.
Fencing ghostly aperture.
Wild horses at the water’s lip
leaning into sugar cube.
Whittling the darkness down.
Sweet or salt—they’ll never know
unless their tongues unbind their souls.