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The Past, a poem by James Owens

The Past
by James Owens

Refugees from that doomed country, we huddle
around a few smuggled objets d’art:

Grandfather’s insistence on his old-fashioned razor,
that day flying kites on the sea cliffs,

baths together when we were newlyweds,
meaning the bronze curve of hips,

at last a loss of control.

Now, a breathing world whispers each day
burned into the waves. We grasp the tension

between contempt for causality and love of form,
the suave gradient toward chaos.

Sunsets beat a long pulse at our wrists,
the warm rocking that landed us here.

The moon comes shimmering, that brilliant scar.

Bio: James Owens's most recent collection of poems is Mortalia, from FutureCycle Press. His poems, stories, translations, and photographs have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Superstition Review, Kestrel, and The Stinging Fly, among others. He lives in Wabash, Indiana.