Prose Poem in Three Parts
by Bruce J. Berger




They are so raw, too young to know themselves, overcome with desire, so ready to reach into their lives and pull everything inside out and test their intelligence against the ice of time, so ready to dive into the burning lake, so ready to abandon allegiance to placid parents, sullen siblings, crass convention. They are so raw, so flawed, one who loves but doesn’t know it yet, one chosen to be loved, by forces they will never explain, the mismatched pair they foam and start to form, amazed to fit together for that moment. I love them both equally now, I see them sit together there on the edge.



He ponders rhyme and rhythm and jots phrases in a notebook that fills with lines that make no sense, syllables that slide and bang into each other, words that worry themselves into flattened shapes in the margins left by other words. He builds a forest, sees himself walking toward it, overwhelmed by its dark green immensity, its shadows inviting him to lose himself in its blackness. He knows that once among the trees there is no way out and will never be and accepts that finality as an imperative of his life, the first thing that defines him as a unique being, that he must present himself fully, be led where he is led, reach out blindly where he reaches, and fall where he falls. Darkness closes about, he kneels and digs his hands through moist loam, and finds a window.



Almost quiet, late afternoon clouds put all summer into shade, the storm settles in, thunder distant but distinct, and they hear their heartbeats blending to make one thudding as they grab for breath, as they try to make sense of their bodies. Time lingers for just a second, waits with little patience as the instinct of junction brings all into being, a compulsion of electrical charges and molecules whose random energy must discharge. They reach, each to each, skin to skin, tongue to tongue, toward exactly what they do not know.




a black line


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