Poetica Magazine

Poetica Magazine


Portrait of a Shadow 

by David Satin


All aflame, here everyone is young. 

He did repair but backwards. 

Blame the parents. Mother’s incense, 

Father’s flawed intentions.


He was an oceanic child, fresh 

paper marked with age, heaped 

stones to keep apart other waters.


A boy fallen from a tree,

a friend’s torn tongue 

writhing in dirt, and he cried 

how it once spat pearls.


Myths are books hidden in clothing.

We find hush in hymns. I run from You, 

he sang,  falling into the womb,


dreaming a wet wagon drove him 

to plants to tear with his teeth

and swallow flowers into his guts. 


There is nothing like the hungry 

following a fragrance like a hint. 

When you lose your faith, 

prayer is all you have left.


All agreed he grieved well. 

He meant to embrace the whole mess, 

never rewrote the liturgy.


He lived within a building of himself. 

His tongue never tired and his appearance

became endless water.


The precious don’t live long.

Don’t overeat. 

Maybe he asked for a taste. 

Maybe begged 

at the end to repair the place.


There were no more children left to watch die.

Though I think he tried.

Eventually the smoke went out.

Poor Elisha, he was made a mystery 

where one searches for another. 

And who has not feared a falling leaf?