poetryrepairs 15,04:042

ABIGAIL B. CALKIN Soul of my Soldier
: Touching Blood
: Blinders

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Because I am not with you I am sucked into the foggy maelstrom. Because I am with you I ask you to pass the salt. You hand it to me. The magenta, white and purple flowers you sent cast shadows strong as tree limbs against the wall of our home You put gas in my car, tell me to come in out of the snow, remind me why I walked into this room. I think of you and hear the Chieftains …or is it that I hear the Chieftains, and think of you… Because I am with you we talk about the trees of the forest as the back of my hand curls into the palm of yours. Because I am not with you… you send me whispers of your love against my shoulders, the touch of your words on my fingertips.

poetryrepairs #211 15,04:042

Touching Blood

for OJ, RG, BM, DF, JH, LD and too many more It is best to breathe clean air Run through fields Ride your bike. When you are six, you skin your knee Lick the blood clean Taste it Keep it from dripping. When you go to the battlefield at home or in country You touch blood— Your own Your buddy’s Your best friend’s— You touch him clamp a hole hope he doesn’t die. When you work in a field hospital, you touch, see, smell the blood of hundreds of wounded. Taste iron. Smell death in its steely approach. Watch a soldier stop breathing as you try to save him. You weep inside for the rest of your life.

poetryrepairs #211 15,04:042


Brown leather blinders— Drive the block ahead. Thank God the road hasn’t changed. Red light— Turn left when green. Turn left when green… A horn blasted. Oh. I’m still here He is gone. Let me cry against your pillow when I get home from work. I haven’t changed the pillowcase: It still smells of you.

poetryrepairs #211 15,04:042

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