Poetry - Issue 14 | February 2012

Two poems by Timothy Kercher


Lazarus

Then, I placed my faith
in resurrection
of walls, the naïve
holy water aspergillum
sprinkle to rebirth
a village. I stood
in the skeleton
of houses, concrete-brick
covered lime
riddled with cancer
of field guns. Doused heart-
break of wood in stoves
had been gone for a year. As
through eye-holes, wind
ripped through the windows
of refugees or the dead.
Now, eleven years
removed, I’ve returned: a town
where wisps of wood-
smoke fill the Autumn air
like incense, stars
like bullet holes
in the night’s black-
burial gown. Silhouettes
of houses grow
tall like pines. The village’s heart
beats with a crackle
of wet-wood fire. But where
is my faith? The war’s scars
I knew are covered
and I can’t find bullet holes
through which to poke
my fingers. In the eleven years
between my last day and now
I’ve lost too much
to the endless shooting
stars, a town that is no longer
a husk shucked
like me. It says: Get up
and walk
. I don’t know how.

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About the author

Timothy Kercher has moved from Colorado to the Republic of Georgia and now finds himself in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he is currently editing and translating an anthology of contemporary Georgian poetry. His poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, The Minnesota Review, Plume, upstreet, Versal, and others.

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