an online magazine of fragmentary writing



Spring 2010 :: Current Issue

A Journey Through July

Judith Azrael

July 1

I am tired of being alone
with only the birds for company
I memorize their mating calls
and try them all
until my voice grows hoarse
but no-one answers
No-one comes

July 4

There are deep pools
in the river
There is snow
on the peaks
of the mountains
It is always like this
I go uphill
and downhill
past tangles
of desire
past wild white daisies

July 5

A robin sits in the birdbath
in the twilight
The leaves are whispering
to one another
I can’t even hear
what they are saying

July 7

Tonight I wrap up
in a blanket
and sit beneath
a sea of stars
in the darkness
in the deep silence

July 12

I want to live in another country
where the language
sounds like a babbling brook
and all the footpaths
lead to small white chapels
their doors wide open
their candles burning

July 17

It is raining today
a silent rain
and all the birds
have disappeared
The trees and the flowers
and the grasses
are holding their breath
We are all waiting

July 19

This is only the beginning
of the story
the way the sea
has turned to silver
and all the hours
walking as slowly
as monks
and the barges
heading north

July 22

Already the light
is changing
The days are growing shorter
You stand on a high bridge
and wave to me
I wave back
if this is the last time
I will ever see you

July 27

I could have left this country
years ago
and lived in a shack
beside a river
I could have learned the call
of every bird
and the scent
of every flower

July 28

Today the sea
is moving north
carrying driftwood
on its back
A cool breeze blows
and cormorants
spread out their wings
I sit on the shore
and listen to the sea
It is singing love songs
I am certain of this
This is the day
I was born

July 29

If you want to understand
the way it is
listen to the owl
sobbing in the moonlight
as if its heart were broken
and then watch
the stars
crossing the sky
night after night
for no reason

July 30

And suddenly there is a wild canary
at the birdbath
sipping the clear water
A black and yellow butterfly
drinks from the flowers
and all the long day the wind whirls
like a dervish lost in prayer
All the long day
the light does cartwheels
in the meadow

July 31

This is the last day of July
and I watch it
packing its suitcase
preparing for departure
One by one
the hours walk away
and slowly disappear from sight
At sunset
I am alone again
watching the sky
turn crimson and green
and coral


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