Satyr Of Low Stars by Mark S. Borczon

For Janice

Her arrival was unexpected
Like finding a crucifix
In the bath tub
Like watching a pile of
Fish scales rise
Into the sky
And drift over
A frozen lake

She came carrying her
Guitar full of kisses
Rattling like lost picks
Inside of it
She came carrying
A tune no one else
Could lift

She found me aged
Like a molted feather
Stood in a dusty water glass
She found me lashing
My reflection in the mirror
With a whip made of
Dog’s teeth and wire
She found me packing books
Into a child’s coffin

She lifted her guitar
From its case
And the guitar drew lightning
From rolling thunderheads
Crawling above the lake
She touched the strings
And they wept gently
Like a child’s pulse
She sang a song
It took fifty years
To learn

“Once I built a railroad
Made it run
Made it run against time
Once I built a railroad
Now it’s done
Brother can you spare a dime”

She kept time with her foot
Clacking like a castanet
She kept faith with
The words of her song
She kept me from
Despair and oblivion

She became my
Beggar of life
I became her
Second grace
The universe became my
Bed of stars

At last

Now our guitars sit
At the foot of our bed
And we sleep above them
In a room we pay for
In nickels and dimes
Earned by working
More jobs than
All the chords
We know
Between us

Mark S. Borczon is a poet living in Erie, Pa. He has published widely in the small press but not in the last few years. He works for Edinboro Iniversity in the office of disabled students. He is the father of 3 amazing daughters.

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