Sunday, March 20, 2022

Theadora Siranian: Fata Morgana


Two nights ago I dreamt you were dead. You, dead for months.
All this time I had been talking to a ghost, face pressed

to the telephone, imagining you doing the same while staring
at a close horizon of snowslashed mountains.

I drift past sheets of blue ice and what we called civilization.
Nothing is left but broken concrete and trees.

Everything an armature of itself and the world silence.

I slip beneath, the water is cold. Toward the sea.


I disinherit myself again and again so that when it’s time to become
nothing I will be ready. There is a bend, always

a bend and always a bridge, weeping, always, when I pass beneath.

Last week I discovered a phrase: anticipatory grief.
An entire category devoted to what I’d always known as waiting.

Abject, brutally finite and yet limitless, waiting.
Hunger without the appetite, without the desire.

If you died tomorrow I would die tomorrow.

The moon is a wafer of barren light in the river.

Anything pressed too far becomes a sin. Toward the sea.

The naked trees are bruises hammered into the sky.
Somehow I know they love me, somehow I know they don’t care.


When I arrived the beach was washed away. The river ran uphill.

Along the ridgeline there is a red horse that can’t stop running.

Even untethered it runs red against the red sun as though trapped
against the sky, back and forth, wildly.

I dreamt you were alive. I dreamt you were unbroken.

Beside the sun burn the stars, glowing embers of paperweight
balloons floating, soaring. Only birds, gliding white

against white turned golden, slowly.

Their wings are burning, or, the sky is a cinder.

The sky a cinder a cinder a cinder and my mouth pressed to the atmosphere

a flame.

I woke and I was the ghost and it was true, all of it.

Originally published in Poetry Northwest, Vol. XIII, 2019

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