Bridge With Two Names & These Separate Images
(Two Poems) by Tucker Lieberman
Bridge With Two Names
Walking in, you call it the Bridge of Signs.
Your steps sound on the board.
The forest bends into tunnels where
people or deer have harnessed space,
intersections are stamped like letters,
air moves through the puzzle of trees.
Each tree hollows differently:
a festered wound out of which red chunks fall,
a charred hearth,
an “o” of surprise looking into the
janus-darkness of another eye.
A small stripe in the bush is a worm,
eating leaves, waiting to fly.
A large stripe on the path is a snake,
uncoiling, clearing your way.
All at once, the rise of bees, the smell of pine,
and nothing shrinks from you except the yarn of time.
The marsh reeds send up pollen,
the shrubs are bound with spiderweb.
This is how you know you’re on the right path.
As you walk out of the woods,
approaching a bridge, you call it
The Record of Lost Things.
But it’s the same bridge,
looking different from the other side,
and you have given a second name to the same bridge.
These Separate Images
Let sleep come. Nothing that exists needs your worry to fuel it.
Think in shadows, then shine, and shadows vanish.
Storytell, if you must, the glamoured dark.
Show it in the only way there is,
a creaking tree between the moon and window.
Choose whether to upset the norms of nighttime,
and be innocent of what witchery comes,
not thinking of what you win or suffer in return.
The abnormal is sacred. Let images be separate,
putting away string, glitterglue, tools of overcuration,
and arrange them soberly, these images, as you’d
pause to observe and collect flowers at night.
Free yourself into the abnormal and the sacred.
Each star in the vault is a separate image,
strung into constellations
thought to pull our trajectories,
destiny written above.
While the mountains blaze and the underground smolders,
sleep, let shadows twist, let existing things come.
About the poet: Tucker Lieberman is the author of the new book Painting Dragons: What Storytellers Need to Know About Writing Eunuch Villains, which he discusses on a podcast episode of Stories We Tell Our Robots. His poems have appeared in Neologism, Defenestration, Snakeskin, and Déraciné; his photography in Barren and Royal Rose; his fiction in Owl Canyon’s 2018 collection No Bars and a Dead Battery; and his essays in Cerurove and in anthologies including the 2011 Lambda winner Balancing on the Mechitza. He lives in Bogotá, Colombia. More info at http://www.tuckerlieberman.com