I am here to return the bowl.
The door is never locked.
The house does not smell of cinnamon.
“Sketches of Spain” not on the turntable,
not in its red-yellow-black sleeve.
Sermon unfinished on the desk,
map open on the sink.
The closet is not empty.
The bedroom light glares
behind its square of frosted glass,
bedside floor polished
by knees and prayers.
The cat sits on the windowsill.
The window is open,
shade a yellow tattered scroll
raised halfway, or lowered.
The crow, itself a shadow,
is not in the cedar tree,
not on the clothesline
with its sagging bag of pins.
What have you given away?
The bowl is filled with apples.
How can I forgive your absence?

© j.i. kleinberg


ONE - If I were

If I were cement and shadows
I could not know enough
to be ready for such news —

the letter in her loopy script
her cheer and sweet affection
sliced through by death —

where-were-you-when, we ask,
the moment’s film a looping strip,
that heartbeat of grief’s lesson —

language immersion — without
banter or books — left to imagine,
to wonder at inarticulate despair —

antelope calf left to negotiate
with lions, memory flayed,
cicatrix of sorrow.

© j.i. kleinberg

humble beans

© j.i. kleinberg ~ the niftyJ.I. Kleinberg tears up magazines to make found poems, which are often posted on chocolate is a verb, and writes an almost-daily blog on poetry in the Cascadia region: The Poetry Department. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and doesn’t own a television. 2016 is her first Poetry Marathon.