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David Schnare



To liken it to pregnancy

is to deny the differences

between what is and is not said,

but in the rest between the last and next,

a silent word is born in the imagination,

cannot survive the pause,

and dies alone.


He looks to where her eyes might misdirect.

Perhaps he hopes to find the frightened child

he hopes to save,

he hopes to rescue

from the hollowness between them.


She is reflecting on the stillness

of the surface of the wine

that lies as featureless

within the half-filled glass

as emptiness itself.





Insects sift scant light

into this dense summer heat.

I sweat like some blond Mexican laborer

drinking a wine from California,

my warm blood making mosquitoes drowsy,

while fireflies drift like glowing ash

on the draft of a dying flame.


I held them in my hand as a child

reading their message, chanting aloud,

“Oh, grant us peace this warm night.”

They beckon to attract a mate,

but as a child I did not know that,

believing they had flown too near the moon.


“Denise,” I whisper, sitting alone,

the lines of kiting spiderlings adrift across my lips,

imagining small creatures hunting in the night,

springing traps,

running each other to the ground,

calling, their bodies’ lamps burned cold,

“we are surrounded by hunger and loneliness,”

knowing that words are worthless,

recalling a firefly pinched in half,

flickering rhythmically, oblivious to his death.



David Schnare is a retired house painter, dishwasher, used car reconditioner, cathode ray tube assembler, warehouse clerk, hospital orderly, and general practice physician. Aside from single poems in Better Than Starbucks and The Ekphrastic Review, he has no publications.


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