Fall 2004, Volume 22.1
Michelle Bonczek is a writer and photographer living in Spokane, Washington. She is a founder and editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and holds an MA in literature from SUNY Brockport and an MFA from Eastern Washington University. Her poetry, recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Midwest Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Red Rock Review, and Talking River Review.
These are the bones of giants. The enormous
Remains the ocean whitens and piles.
I sit on a giant's knuckle.
When water breaks, brown pelicans rise
In a bundle. They hover, reconsider the world,
And move on before it takes them.
A woman rides a man's back
And the ocean delivers
Its secret to their feet.
Sand dollars crack beneath its weight.
Offshore, Haystack Rock
Hides the burnt grass moon. A flock of gulls feeds
On barnacles, and children climb toward Venus.
In seconds, the pelicans are molecules
Against dusk. One secret is replaced
With another. Haystack Rock and the couple's reflection
In wet sand darkens. My hand slides across
The giant's bone. It is smooth
As flesh. I am so small in his hand
He doesn't even notice.
The Boulders at Lolo Hot Springs
If Richard Hugo had written
a black stone poem, surely
he would've had these in mind.
They are as big as a room and quiet
as a desert comet. If they could talk,
they would say nothing, only peer
at you with their dark eyes.
The bigger, the blacker the stone,
the bigger its secrets. Black stones
are witnesses. They are pieces
of night sky binding stars
to their fabric. They can predict
earthquakes; they can cause earthquakes.
These boulders at Lolo call the small
boulder inside me up into my throat.
When one finds a black stone,
what one finds is a solid moment
of silence. One should listen
To what looms in its dark.