George Kalamaras

Issue #
October 3, 2017

Only Now

The hound is real, even the one disguised

as a sleeping owl, with which they replaced

your heart. Blood magic is more than the four-day

hut. Daisies, when damp, can grow in the canals

of the ear? The question underscores the basic

belief that menstrual contamination is achieved

through a fixed gaze. Once I thought I was a bird.

Feel the box spring throbbing sound. Look left then

left again. The clock on the wall is a compass

heart turning always true north. Blood is not contained

in the veins but flows inside to out, transgressing

bodily boundaries. Month after month

we become more of what we lose. Thus a hound

is an owl is the heart of a red-tail hawk

dusking the sky a fleeting rust as it circles above.

At last this wind flattens the grass. Sit with me

to tea. Say Gyokuro three times with your head

turned to the left. Cough. Now cough again.

The body is sewn shut and nothing can escape.

Which is why we let the dogs loose at night

to guide the swamp. The legend says

there’s a kerosene lamp lit only by the grease fat

of the moon. Noxious weeds in the badger

dens. Thrive. Select me my milk. Moth flight

is part of myself burning myself away. Even

the hound part of my heart spits and shadows

like the flaming glow of a tree. When you float

into the lantern you see yourself

through the perspective of a root. When you plunge

into your heart only the hound remains.

Everything small falls away as everything

smalls. Blood magic in the ear. The left

as left. Mantra diksha in the right.

The pounding mouthing now.

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