A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
My name is Leonard Gontarek.
I survived the attack at the Grand 16 Theater where
Trainwreck was playing. I gave it 3 out of 4 stars.
I had cheese on my popcorn. It looked
in the dark like a bucket of tiny Trumps.
I survived the attack at The Pulse nightclub.
I love dancing. Gang of Four and Talking Heads.
When I dance I leave my body
like a ghost exiting a cemetery at night.
Sometimes it is good not to be ourselves for a while.
I survived the attack on the Amish school
at West Nickel Mines, PA. Often I can tell
if someone is a good person. I can see on their head
a halo. It is in the shape of the hats Amish women
wear at the farmers’ market. I see it on the heads
of women and men alike. It is accompanied –
the vision – by the singing of children, the beautiful
singing of children.
I say survive, but none of us survive
the strange miracles of this country,
where the ground leaks dried blood
at dusk, where people look at us strangely
when we kneel down on it to pray. People look at us
strangely when we lie down to kiss
the earth that we love. When we lie
down and disappear into the ground,
we can no longer see them look at us.
The bare trees fill with birds. They want
to be flowers when there are none for us.
Copyright 2017 Leonard Gontarek