Winter 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 1 Poetry |

Noise like Wings

Pressed between hands and what I made of them, then smoothed against the café's clean window, the page clung to traces of numerous refoldings and the grime-incised fingers of the man holding it, pointing to a few adhered photographs for his friend, equally caked with the street they must sleep in, both of them unaware—or tired of caring—we were watching them, but from inside the window, reminding you of a play, of all the dead voices, their noise like wings. Like leaves. The sun lit the pictures to sudden shapes gathering, figures etched in a thick translucency, but reversed, shadowy, and through the veil of paper, thin glare of window, I couldn't know who'd entered them, or if the photographs were even his. It mattered to me, as if the visibly enfolding bodies could have explained the misshapen letters he'd scrawled in between the frames, whether they contained story or were only a corrupt mind's ciphers, empty vessels, like all the discarded bottles we later found frozen in t

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Paul Otremba is the author of the poetry collection The Currency, published by Four Way Books. His poems and criticism have appeared in such places as New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Washington Post, Poetry Daily, Tikkun, and American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics.

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Old Long Since

By Paul Otremba

Pressed between hands and what I made of them, then smoothed against the café's clean window, the page clung to traces of numerous refoldings and the grime-incised fingers of the […]

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