Issue X, Volume IV : June 2013
Bernd Sauermann graduated in 1993 from McNeese State University with an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry). Since then, Sauermann has taught at colleges in Illinois and Vermont and currently teaches composition, literature, creative writing, and film in the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Sauermann’s poems and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Anti-, Comstock Review, Conduit, The Kansas Quarterly Review of Literature, The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets, McSweeney’s, New Orleans Review, Nimrod, Southern Indiana Review, and elsewhere and he is seeking a publisher for his full-length poetry manuscript.
Slow in the limbs, slow like Sunday’s bells, like the motions of shaven angels. Slow like a stroll in the churchyard, a hand over a temple of stubble, the wind over a field, and slow like the tapestries of the cathedral. Slow like her thighs and slow like a room somber with smoke and candles. Slow like a hymn twisting itself to a breathless halt. Slow like the sober man sleeping on the floor amidst laundry. Then quick like the scent of coffee and a shock of damp hair.
How long has one word remained unsaid hunching in the tree line like a mute wolf? How long has a screen door swung and banged on the slightest breeze? How long has this sentence been unhinged? I come to this not easily: there is weather and there are storms that topple oaks not hung with chains of rumors. I mouth the word. I try it out. It tastes like silence. It tastes like the silence after the wolves stop howling.
Suddenly a new year has begun in a distant country. Surely, there the weather changes for the wetter. Surely moss drapes from the live oaks like wild hair. A fertile swamp breeds gestures free of deceitful intent. Words are sent over the wires. The words are received, barely heard like lies someone doesn’t want to believe. It’s true, someone else says, adding yet another twist to the cable.
A future surfaces like an invented word. I am old, you are even older. This is the soft lie on the pillow, the lie that was told with a sly look and a knowing smile. There is chocolate on the bed, and hope has turned back the covers and winks. Tonight, our food will taste like doubloons and my chest will open like a trunk full of gold.
A window is like an old woman who works too
much. I am an old woman, though I do not work too
much. Noticing all the work to be done and that I am
not working, an old woman looks out the window. I
am that window. I stand by all of this.