Two poems · Michael Ladanyi

Bruised Rooms

Outside in the long yard, dry grass waved
as gray-brown wheat awaiting the harvest
blade, slightly bent against warm, early
August cupping winds, beneath the

copper, late afternoon sun. I peered
through a front window. The old
house stood quiet with abandoned
spider-web loneliness, only its worn,

wooden floors, creaking to thin, lethargic
memories squatting in lost shadows,
were audible among dust dunes piled
in plain corners below a rough raftered

sky. Pale yellow slivers of intruding
light, pushed their splintered
fingers through chalky panes to
slowly climb peeling walls. I turned

the doors knob, all the while feeling
as if I were doing something wrong,
opening a world that had existed
years trying to adjust to itself,

cope with stagnant pieces of wounded
lives left behind in its empty and
bruised rooms. I walked through the
house to what had once been a

friends room and stood in its door-less
entrance, sharp aromas of everything
I had forced down long ago, passed
through me like cheated ghosts.

My breath came naked as tilled earth.
After a few moments, I
realized I could never repair the
childhood that had been unwillingly

surrendered there. That became enough.

Breath As Hands

The sky is stained with imperfections of
a million perfect colors, lemon-mauve,
blue-sienna, creating a speaking
water-color that could never be placed

on canvas, bound by sad parameters
of what we consider beauty. The
green-sequined water watches with
slack concern, not attempting to

understand us, our false abdications
based on gnawing greed; while folded
ghosts watch from the squinting
corners of our one-directional eyes.

The trudging sand, dreaming of becoming
three dimensional crystal, something
to be admired, clinked during celebrations,
is warm beneath our feet. The thin,

orange-peel, tittering sun, resembles an
undercooked egg who's yoke has
moved away in search of a less serious
mate, one who possesses breath as

hands, love for clumsy words, a bohemian
heart capable of bleeding tears. We sigh
without breath, attempting to render our
betraying emotions still, not accepting

the simple lessons surrounding us