COMING UPON A FUNERAL
I saw people suffer
where the street ran near to quiet
and I heard them weep in Cantonese.
I have taken to flicking the light-switch
on and off, on and off.
And grabbing the cheapest haircut I can find.
I am looking for a way to say that I too am sorry.
A Chinese restaurant is floating red kites from its roof.
The colors are so bloody here,
I no longer speak to the horizon.
At a pause for reflection,
water bends my face.
I do not see the deaths of animals,
their skins made into shoes.
The thistle whiteness explodes my eyes.
My hair blows like a raucous sea.
So I am blind and incapacitated.
And you’re a spark climbing the dark stairs.
You offer yourself vainly day after day.
And worship the famine of the bed.
The shelves are stuffed with hooves of horses.
The corner store runs a special on snake tea.
I am another name for silence.
I was once a butcher. Now I’m a blood-stained stone.
— by John Grey
Copyright © 2021, by John Grey. All Rights Reserved.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Penumbra, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. His latest books, Leaves On Pages and Memory Outside The Head are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and Held.