by Elena Tomorowitz
The chronometer of flies,
the ticking of tiny breaths
on skin, the thickness of paper,
the time of travel between
two sheets. I measure moments
with distance, watch
follicles grow into new follicles.
I name all the species
too small to see,
place them in notebooks,
trace their shadows.
Blood drips to the rhythm
of sharpening pencils,
but I cannot heal wounds.
There are letters without sounds,
birds without feathers, buildings
without walls, children without lips.
Let me purse mine in a darkened room,
make a memory I can't remember
until a star explodes again,
shakes my hand through windows,
burns my fingertips only slightly.
I lock the doors,
burn holes through curtains.
Smoke rises to your nostrils.
I count the seconds between
specks of floating dust.
THE PHILOSOPHER OF BIRDS
A bird falls from a tree and tells the other birds.
They move, smacking their wings like rugs being shaken
from apartment windows. Dust covers
the street below, leaves.
THE PHILOSOPHER OF RUGS
Nothing is unexpected, the parasites, the hairs
from mice, puddles of toxic fuels.
Words lay restlessly from the night before,
cigarette smoke lingers, searches for a mouth.
I am running slowly through fog.
There is something whistling
the sound of my name.
Elena Tomorowitz is currently living and writing in Cleveland, but will soon transplant herself to Hattiesburg, MS where she will be an English PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi.