Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2007, vol 5 no 4


Jim Doss


You brought me discarded blueprints from your work to perfect my budding artistic skills. Completed buildings and bridges became my raw materials, pages the size of a painter's canvas that I would flip over to the white backing, and draw for hours in the silence of my room, as I dreamed of Van Gogh in Arles painting the heat-stroked fields by day, drinking absinthe and fighting the locals at night. When I showed you my drawings, you scotch-taped them to the kitchen walls, the hallways, and living room, turned our house into an art gallery. My favorite you placed over the green living room couch, right above the spot I saw you last, lying with your left arm covering your eyes, not even wanting a kiss good-night.

When I woke the next morning no one had to tell me what happened. From my desk, I took a pencil, a box of pastels, and drew an angel standing on dark clouds, a thunderhead that fired angry lightning bolts toward the earth as you trembled above, a moth newly emerged from its cocoon, wings still moist and weak, but growing larger, stronger. Then I descended the stairs in my school clothes to a kitchen overflowing with weeping adults. Their arms extended like girders of bone to raise me up to the top of the highest bridge in the city, expecting I would leap, my body flattened out like a cross, into this same river of despair where they were going under. But all I did was quit drawing.

invisible tears—
when will grief's flame
reveal your vibrant colors


Jim Doss Jim Doss is co-editor of Loch Raven Review. His work has appeared in Poetry East, Words-Myth, Poems Niedergasse, and other publications. He is currently working on translating the complete writings of Georg Trakl:

Jim earns his living as a software engineer, and lives with his wife and three children in Maryland. Additional examples of his work can be found on his blog.