On “I Saw Three Cities” by Kay Sage
Neither living nor dead,
I saw three cities,
all without blood. I, too,
am bloodless, without heart
or motion. John or Nike,
I stand in the gray-green of a storm
that never comes.
In one of the cities,
I saw a death. A gun
as lidless as I am wrapped
in a woman’s stiff hand.
A bullet folded through the fat
of her heart, as if she too were
pole and cloth. I will not tell you
what I saw in the other two cities.
Not the land of the dead,
but its twin. This is the place
where grief goes static.
Not the violence but the
dissociation after. A land
where no shadows move.
But see how my robe or shroud
is caught up in a wind that
must have blown. See how
I grew shoulders, almost, to bury
my lack of head so it can sob
without a mouth. Are still things
On “My Room Has Two Doors” by Kay Sage
The places you can go by egg
these days. To mornings as crisp
as sheets, or back inside your mother
when you were not yet you. Cramped
compartments are expected anyways
when traveling by train or bus,
and the yolk will give you shine.
An arch, too, is equally serviceable
if you want to go. I always hold
my breath when going through that
kind of door. The weight will want
to come back, surely, from where
the builders carved it away from stone.
My room has two doors,
but right after you died, it had none.
It was as if I were a light bulb
and grief a mouth. I went in
with no hope of passing.
Teeth prevented my leaving.
I have seen my birth and my death,
both are plain enough. But what
is this green light that suffuses,
and why is my life one room?