One Will Devour the Other

Jonathan Greenhause


Crows are dropping stones into the oceans.  Don’t let them,

she cries, no one hearing her, her eyes

scanning long distances distancing themselves

from wave to wave.  Don’t cry, shrieks a dolphin surfacing

beneath the fishermen’s net.  You have one life,

so live it, the dolphin adds and is carried away

into the air.  Crows drop stone after stone, and rabbits

light the forests on fire, thick clouds of noxious smoke

shrouding the swaying canopies.  The girl

is situated right-between the rising ocean and

the spreading blaze.  One will devour the other,

she says, half-assuaging herself with the thought:

One will devour the other, leaving the ocean

to swallow the charred leaves, or the ashes to seize

the waves until they wither into a waiting breath

of steam.  One will devour the other, she screams.

An infinity of stones are lost within the sea,

displacing water ‘til its tongue’s confronted with flames

and crows congregate in murderous throes to drink

the dreams of death waiting below.



[This poem first appeared  in Many Mountains Moving]



When not writing poetry, Jonathan Greenhause can be found digging for words in the darkness. Though he officially lives in Jersey City, he has taken up residence in the claustrophobic space inside revolving clothes-racks, searching for his inner child. When money gets low, he works as a Spanish translator, which paid for the electricity to email his submission. His poetry is in The Bitter Oleander, Bryant Literary Review, Nimrod, Rattle and others.