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Gwendolyn Albert: Two Poems
my past lives | The Director

my past lives

in my past lives
I was a series
of hairs on the hand
of the Emperor
Nero which he preferred
to shave off

I was the olive branch
brought by the dove
to Noah in his boat

I was flame flood
and wind     a split
atom     some falling

I was old Lithuanian women
guarding the grove
against the Crusades

a barber
a cop
a suicide

and some of this life
echoes my solo
trips to the Poles where I
lost my feet

next time I'll be
a flowering tree

who wishes she
could walk

The Director

The Director has
forgiven Enola Gay
she was just
a plane

            just a car
            that skids to the left
            saving its driver and
            killing some others

and we are all
just radios
transmitters of every
possible message and

when we are young we are
like the color that glows
from moss

            pursuing that radium
            on through the night
            reflecting the smell

            of the earth, wet
            birds singing under
            a moon like a capital

The Director has
forgiven the past,
what belongs
to the trap
of circumstance

            Jung begged his pots
            and pans for some quiet

            holy water on
            travel bags

How nice it is
to be The Director

call up the dead
remove masks and
get it right

Poet's Biography:
  Gwendolyn Albert, born 1967 in Oakland, California, was a 1989 Fulbright Scholar in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where she witnessed and participated in the Velvet Revolution. She has lived full time in Prague since 1994. Her poetry and essays have been published in Exquisite Corpse and Left Curve magazines. She also translates.

© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.