Death: A Love Poem
   by Talon Talon

Talon spent many years publishing under his own name in such journals as Oasis, The MacGuffin, Oxford Journal, Parting Gifts, and several more. Then he left his adopted home of Chicago and wound up teaching and living in Haiti, Honduras, Somaliland, and Brazil. After this hiatus, he has returned to publishing poetry (and his plays!) under the new pseudonym "Talon." "In many ways," he says, "It is like a rebirth."

Before the explosion shattered the city
And the shrapnel sliced us to pieces,
          bequeathing silence and sadness —
What went through the mind of him
With the dynamite strapped to his breast,
closer than God?

Was it of summers under fig trees
          on an uncle's farm,
shady, humid, odor of goats wafting —
a repugnant smell, a sweet memory?
Was it of breakfast of fresh milk, figs, dates,
          a piece of fish cooked just right —
          Ah! The taste of Paradise from mother's hand!

Or was it of her eyes, dark, deep, a spark of light
          dancing star-like,
two wonderful round Galilees he drowned in.
Those eyes of first innocence
          before the rape of the soldiers and the burning of her house
that left her raving, mind gone, spark extinguished,
          destitute and filthy, stuck in place
(her lot no different than thousands of others)?

Is it for a glimpse of those eyes
          he is dying?
Is it for the death of those eyes
          we are slaughtered?

What do you think? Please send us your comments, including the name of the work you are commenting on.
Permalink to the Amarillo Bay issue containing this work.