William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

When a Certain Cloud Appears

These writings run their own course.
They are not at my command.
They are the resurrection of old hats.
The hand on the door knob. The closet avalanche.

When a Certain Cloud Appears

When a certain cloud appears,
and it seems your life has been lived

in preparation for its arrival,
only to find it gone just as soon,

and then another, and another,
and death is all around,

in the sun and the way it beckons autumn,
its plaintive light upon your shoes —

when, of a certain time,
like a candle that won’t go out,
or a window that reveals
what it can’t explain,
or won’t,

and what you remember
in the name of what you feel,

taken as breath as breath is taken away,
in the same sense senseless, and still
corrupt, virgin, perfectly insane —

when, in a way familiar yet unreal
as any childhood, pain, or sound,
as thorn in any soul, as gospel, as river,
as mortal cry or blow will prove

what is rejected seduces,
what is expected fails,
what is neglected grows,
what is sung heals

what the slightest touch will show,

and vain reflexive need is an image of itself
looking backward in a mirror,

is grief, is loss, is miracle —

you set it down,
you let it go.

Poems, Slightly Used, August 27, 2010

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Categories: Poems, Slightly Used

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