Three Poems by John Findura

These three poems by John Findura ponders when the hypnagogic state between awake and dreaming no longer offers an explanation for your reality…

by John Findura


When the ghosts visit me they don’t have much to say
I hold my head under water and sing

No one hears anything anymore
A girl skinned of her identity in the Southwest

sings under water, too – oh we hold each other down
She prays in multiple religions

and sings in four languages
I hold my head under water in only one

When the ghosts read novels
they take copious amounts of notes – scribbling all over the text
I don’t know how I feel about this
I like to keep my novels ink-free and perfect
I do not need to wake up to find underlines
and their haphazard circling of what they consider important phrases,
phrases that I consider incidental
They write their marginalia in tight block print
but in poetry books they use a more flowing script
and are more prone to brackets
Some things I have learned:
they use British spelling on occasion,
what is important to them seems to mean little to the living

There is a thin line in a village
that asks to be crossed
My days revolve around questioning whether I should
My nights are often quiet and I wonder if you are good
Did you hear the one where I ask if you’ve seen my hands shake?
In your apartment I’ll ask again
I shouldn’t now but I want to but you won’t
In other cars things take place, things I don’t want to imagine
I try and tell you but I can’t
that I’m abandoning place and time for you, again
to take you
but you won’t go and look at how this all breaks, an exhausted glass
defiant across the floor, its contents seeping, seeping
and we don’t even wear masks anymore
to make everything look alright
I want to wear you like a scent, light and eyes closed
burning from in here out towards you
One of us woke up alone
One of us is waking up

John Findura is the author of the poetry collection Submerged (Five Oaks Press, 2017) and the chapbook Useful Shrapnel (2022). He holds an MFA from The New School, an M.Ed in Professional Counseling, and an Ed.D in Educational Technology. His poetry and criticism appear in numerous journals including Verse; Fourteen Hills; Copper Nickel; Pleiades; Forklift, Ohio; Sixth Finch; Prelude; and Rain Taxi. A guest blogger for The Best American Poetry, he lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife and daughters.

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