wanderings through a winter forest

by Kevin Kaiser

the gentle sway of sun-
light through the shadowed
leaves of winter-chilled
oak, hackberry, and smoke-

my heart is colder than air;
centuries seem to slough
away between beats
like dead skin on silken

three mice lie frozen between
earth-gouging roots; I am
so weary of wearing worn
collars and shrunken long

my ears are numb; I’m deaf,
I’m dumb, and the worm is
too stiff to turn this stale
soil into anything resembling

I’m squeaking out a leprous
life; none trust enough to touch
my knowledge, tactile as it is,
and so I smooth the rumples,

yes, I will, or no, I won’t—
what appeases, what releases
me from the dull pain of being
wrong or right; I’m sorry if I

yesterday, a cardinal, red as holly
berries, flew startled from my gold
leaf-crunching feet; today, I want
one thing so badly I swear I may

Kevin Kaiser was born and raised in Orange County, California, earned his MFA from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, and currently resides in Richardson, Texas. His fiction, poetry, and music are internationally published, most recently in Jabberwocky, Barnwood, and 3:AM. He is engaged to the poet Angela Parker.

Back to Issue Eleven: Spring 2011