The Adirondack Review
FALL 2017
It is not so
I am five black lines. so you entangle yourself in me like a treble clef.

though a hurt feeling can be the wrong note that crushes a child’s performance,

it is not so for us. and when your breath enfolds me like a coffin,

and preparing to kiss them, I look at your darkly glimmering eyes

like things I am ashamed of. do not picture the circumcised heart

which berates itself like a phantom limb. or the guessed pattern whose

charm sickly drains. but see instead the ghost painted shut whose intractableness

is only a surface. you hold in your uncompromising fingers, not the cigarette

of praise or the minor chord, unfinishable, but the unopened letter which is

you and I sent back and forth. like a siren caught in a mirror, powerless

through meaning. and color’s decay. then, should we appear to you

like teeth in an unhappy mouth, you will know finally why it is not so. why

drowned men harpoon on reefs like underwater christs.​

​DANIEL SCHWARTZ is a poet and philosopher living in Somerville, MA.