Two poems by James P. McNamara

 

HOLD

 

keep grip to the trinkets of self when you

lock the door behind in the morning

these baubles of identity

hold to them as a kite

hold to them as a hammer

 

coat these facts thickly about the chest and shoulders

do not leave that last step without

your final skins

stitch them tightly together

 

earmark the favored passages of small bravery

recall them when needed

cite often and under your breath

on that last step ignite yourself to the velocity of survival

 

SUMMER FLU

 

Cool water in the rag

Draped across the forehead

The heat transmitting through the gut

wiggling vines into the dull ice

beneath the skin of the extremities

 

The smell of vegetables hitting the boil

 

The steam bottled from open windows fattening the air

lodging a barrier between the throat and lung

 

The TV rambles gently fluctuating tune

Vicks rough crystalline scraping curling from sinus to mouth

 

Occupied, my grandmother spoke from the kitchen

She applied her medicines as I rustled

All my 10 years of independence took pause

groaning through sweat and chills

 

– James P. McNamara

 

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