By Jonny Teklit
There Will Be Blood
They play until dusk,
until the dirt on their clothes
can hardly be seen in the dim evening
glow, you know, the time when the sky
is a perfect sheet of cobalt
and there are no stars, only the pale
glimmering eye of the moon,
only the fireflies, close enough
to clap between their hands,
their first foray into the sticky business
of snuffing a light.
They leave the woods, their playground,
grab their bikes and pedal homeward,
cackling amongst themselves like a motorcycle gang
of hyenas, like there’s something in the air
and once they return to the familiar
streets of their neighborhood
they peel off, one by one,
and return to their dens
where dinner has been waiting,
and when their mothers ask about their tardiness
they will lie, feign ignorance, act innocent,
anything to protect their new and bloody
secret, shoddily buried among the trees,
where it will remain for several weeks
until a woman on the run
trail will chase her dog who took
off into the woods and when she finds
it sniffing about a grey wrist
protruding from the earth like a sapling
of bone, she will think of how she should have moved
from this town a year ago like she had wanted to,
but, of course, she knows that
here is no worse than anywhere else,
for where there are boys,
there will be blood.
The Perennial Knife of Hindsight
Eternity, after a while, loses its weight.
There are no more days or years, only time:
unsegmented. Eurydice roams the face
of Hades, her memories unmoored from recall,
but, still, the turn of her lover’s face—
the unquieting knell of his doubt—
remains clear and ringing in her vision.
Even the song that cracked Hades open
is muffled beneath its toll. With a glance
he turned her into something not quite ghost,
not quite shadow, not quite wind chime,
but the cold breath that passes through all three.
Alas, she did not need eternity to learn
that a woman can be undone by a man’s disbelief.
Jonny Teklit is a winner of the 2019 Academy of American Poets College Poetry Prize as well as the recipient of the 2019 Aliki Perroti and Seth Young Most Promising Young Poet Award. Currently a reader for The Adroit Journal, his work has appeared in Lancaster Online and The New Yorker.