Jonathan Burkhalter - Time Passing Through the Morning

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A shadow rides a pale horse along the tripwire of dawn
hustling bouquets of nightshade to children
who no longer see their breath under their fathers' masks.

The horse keeps a steady gate
in the only direction that counts
like a clock built to measure blank moments
it could keep time, but where would it keep it?

The shadow is a little more than a secret,
like the moment a flame bites the skin
like where you are between two thoughts.

The outer masks crumble off of those who take the shadow's offerings
lungs moving in ways almost forgotten, in a moment of clarity to visceral
it seemed like truth.

The children, now with one mask left,
scatter into a garden of continents
while the shadow and the horse
ascend like a call into the rising sun.


from Is There Another Language?, released January 20, 2017
Poem by, read by, and drones by Jonathan Burkhalter



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