2 poems by Uniel Critchley

The Electric Lion

I.
Our tongues were waiting
at the roofs of our mouths
on a hot July night.
The mist was rising
from my parents’ backyard pool, while
we were sweat sticky, in expectancy;
I dipped in
And you followed me.
My full red loose tank top
billowed underwater.
My heavy jean shorts
did not belong there,
submerged.
Gliding a hand across
the surface of the water,
you pulled me in and our bodies
clung, all heat and sweat & dripping.
It was then I first tried to interpret
your full and cryptic smile.

II.
I watch you
dump loads of grass
to the nearby cows,
haul wood and feed.
And when you catch my glance
on the backyard porch
you give me that smile.
It spells sex and history—
years of cultivating my desires,
how forgiveness can callous over
or leave scars—
from the time you were abused,
the time I cheated on you,
and when we lost our son.
I know the soft wounds
beneath your sharp wit and electric smile.

 

The Stark Cry of Knowing Who You Are

For James Joyce, who knew it. And who said,
“The longest way round is the shortest way home.”

I have an unborn thing inside me
Kicking to give life
Suck on my marrow
And call me home

Looking to live again,
Unbound

I looked for this truth,
It found me on a Sunday morning
Tearing at the hard lined walls of my mind
Telling me that I am not
Who I thought I was—
That I am possibility itself,
That language, could take me

My art was finding me
Burying its nose in the crook
Of my possibility

“Priest of the mind,” Joyce called it.
Father of my imagination,
Me. And me only.
And why not me?

This art will probably consume me,
Take me into its light and swallow me
Whole, till there is no I,
Only light fragments of the original me
Reflecting the way home.

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Jeremiah Walton

Jeremiah Walton is wary of writing a bio.

3 thoughts on “2 poems by Uniel Critchley”

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