for Saria Mena
Child, when I saw you I was afraid to touch you,
my hands unworthy of your innocence.
Oh fragile...Infant...Buddha! Your atomic smile
was enough to silence the world.
Now, after all the flowers I remain. Years will pass.
The wreaths and sprays will all be discarded.
But forever in my thoughts,
there will always be
Keep your strength up,
this song has a maddening rhythm:
the seconds will tick, the hours will click,
and you’ll move each day to a dull symphony
of car horns, box-trucks, menstruating women,
lackluster men, and ringtones.
It’s a square dance without enthusiasm:
'round and 'round in circles you go
until everything looks the same.
So, keep your strength up,
because this song doesn’t end
until you die.
I can never tell
when it's time to say farewell,
I tend to linger in the comfort
of a known environment.
(I guess fear makes one cautious
of the world outside the window.)
Forward, to me,
an uncomfortable direction,
because even broken teeth
have their roots.
But when the skin
no longer covers the animal,
it painfully evolves
So now I must evolve,
endure the pain of adjustment,
and never glance back
at my footprints.
Charles Joseph lives and writes deep in the heart of New
Jersey. Peppered by a battery of life experiences—good, great,
bad, and worse—Charles is the author of NO OUTLET (a novel),
five poetry chapbooks, and Chameleon (Omnibus Unum 2012-2016) a
collection of poems and short stories that will be released in
2017. His poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction have
appeared in various literary journals and online magazines. He's
been a featured poet at numerous live poetry events in his area.
And he is the founding editor of Indigent Press, a micro press
that publishes limited-run twelve poem chapbooks for poets with
unique voices. Visit him at www.charlesjosephlit.com.