Zenith and Nadir

by Brian Michael Barbeito


Effulgence. She walked out from the doors and stood to look around. Bright and careful in her movements. Lithe. Locks wisp. Silver is somewhere remembered. Zygomatics splash up and towards perfectly wrought ears. The leaves come there in the autumn. The scientists say chlorophyll leaves the leaves but in truth they give up their ghost in order to give us a different sense of beauty. Most people don’t care. Oh, that’s nice. I am not saying I dislike it. Fall can be wondrous. But then in an instant it is more than that. It is sacrosanct. For she. For she that calls herself she and says, This is she. And what of it? Part Native American and part something forever unknown. There is denim and a kind of heavy thread count blouse. A woman. A poem. Straight back. The sun. And the leaves dance themselves round and through the world like attractive artifacts come alive and escaping some house of fire.


Lurid. The greater world has gone away. Now there are still some streets and avenues but they are cold in real and emotional temperature. The blouse woman. She cannot escape her life. Affluent homes line the boulevards way but their quiet yellow lights and warm interiors are not for the ones forlorn. Her past is over and her future a mystery. The woman cannot eat and needs to cry but cannot allow herself such a release. Snow. It falls on cement forms abandoned for the cold and though it may fall like some silent calming song for some, it cannot help her. She is not poor but she does not have a footing in the world. Alien. Others have left her to find themselves and their own light. They have left her in the winter darkness but worse, in the lightless racing of her own psyche. Left to herself with no God or other, she begins a slow but sure descent into nothingness.

Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian poet, writer, and landscape photographer. He has work currently at CV2 The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing and is forthcoming at Fiction International in July 2015. Brian is the author of the book Chalk Lines, [FOWLPOX PRESS, cover art by Virgil Kay (2013)].