Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Two Poems by Daniel von der Embse

The divide

Upon your forehead I admire the skin,
smooth, featureless but for a deep scar
that appears to divide your beauty in two –
contradicting halves of your personality:

the annoying child that can’t sit still –
impatiently pushing away affection
the coolly sullen woman on sinews
poised to take any man who would please her

Both sides meet in the place on your skull
where the axe landed eons ago leaving the long divide,
the exaggerated arch of your back, like a bow
ready to launch your arrow – aimed not at my heart

Smell of bones

On the block where the charnel house sat
overgrown with spearmint
making the combination of smells
like sweet tea swished in trench mouth –

The scent is carried by the wind into my garden
where a fat black cat watches for fleeing rats
flushed out of hiding by crashing skulls
in the first part of day before the light becomes too great

Awaking on this spring day to clear the house
of corpses and make room for those coming,
I sit and breathe deeply to smell the stories
of the dead – each one in its own way mine

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4 thoughts on “Two Poems by Daniel von der Embse

  1. Pingback: The Divide and Smell of Bones — in Blue Hour Magazine | writing in airplanes

  2. “I sit and breathe deeply to smell the stories of the dead – each one in its own way mine.” I really like how you’ve composed this poem using the sense of smell and the metaphor of bones to combine into several different meanings…memories to be cleared away, stories to finally be listened to and acknowledged, sensations still to be explored. A very nice job with this, Daniel. (I like the first poem very much, too.) 🙂

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