I Shut My Eyes
There is a darkness,
like a blindfold, or a curtain of fog—
all colors muted to dull sheen.
And the quiet, no humans,
no mechanical thunk or squeal,
no grinding gears,
only a bustle of wind—an insect drone.
Ravens cough from splayed treetops.
I wait for a shipwreck. My sisters rehearse
a shanty for the soon to be departed.
No one ever tells me, “Hey,
I was looking all over for you.”
Gargoyle-like I crouch on my precipice,
the crag between safety and oblivion—
life as it could be and death.
That space is shrinking just now.
I wonder if the fine hairs between
your shoulder blades would rise
if I put one finger to your cheek.
You’ll need to find a way to stay alive
with certain death hunkered beside you.
Dale Champlin, an Oregon poet with an MFA in fine art, has poems published by The Opiate, San Pedro River Review, Triggerfish, Pif, Timberline, and elsewhere. She is the editor of /pãn| dé | mïk/ 2020: An Anthology of Pandemic Poems from the Oregon Poetry Association. Dale has two poetry collections, The Barbie Diaries, and Callie Comes of Age, with Cirque Press in 2021. She is currently writing a collection of Medusa poems.