Silver Coin

Steve Klepetar

“The silver coin on your tongue melts…”
–Paul Celan

Face of a tiger, eye of an owl etched on this moon
disk, wafer born of starlight and mist.

Hold it burning in your golden palm. Impossible
sleep, that maiden of tangled black hair. Softly

she whispers your name, offers sweetened tea,
a plate of scones, strawberry jam and tangerines.

In the honey of her mouth your teeth ache
with remembered grief, your swollen jaw churns

and grinds. In your pocket a silver coin, a Jangling
hole to another world. Your mouth melts,

you become a clock, a blue face elongated
above a city on a green hill crazily aslant, ablaze

with light. Every night red streaks blur across
weary sky and your fist bangs at still another invisible door.

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