Two Poems by Paul Ilechko

A Dismal Completion

Follow the thread as it peels
back to rawness
as it peels away the repetition

my scars not visible
when the prejudiced flesh

battles the apathy
of its own nature

       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

the thread is a knotted line
bulked and swollen

as taut as nerve on a cold
white day       thickening
against the fear of daybreak

       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

the cord that binds is cold
and wet       is a tongue that seeks

a crevice       is the agony of urgency
is the weight of expectation

is the closing of a door
and the sudden rush of water

       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

I am chained and locked
I am loaded against
the dismal completion.

Everything Ends as Dirt

There is dirt on the steps
(always           there is dirt
on the steps)
but from where
does it constantly appear?
the bedroom is ice
(the bedroom walls
are ice blue)
I stumble on the stairs
without falling
       *       *       *       *       *       *       *
yesterday I fell
my bloodstains      seeped through
my bandaged hands
my scraped      and bloody knees
laying on the ground
trapped inside my decades
needing help
that was never needed before
       *       *       *       *       *       *       *
the dirt will spread
it will overwhelm me
I remember        the dirty dishes
stowed away
inside my father’s cupboard
as his body devoured him
from the inside
we sat together
drinking rum
we ignored the past
it was better that way.

Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Juxtaprose, As It Ought To Be, Cathexis Northwest Press, Inklette and Pithead Chapel. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.