The 2River View 17.4 (Summer 2013)

John Guzlowski

Eye Contact with the Dead

Don’t make eye contact
with the dead in their coffins.
They’ve suffered long enough,
walked too long upon the earth,

smelled its sweet air in the morning,
loved the people they’ve loved,
loved you as much as they could,
probably more than you guessed.

Now, it’s time to look away.
You don’t need to see their eyes
on you as you turn away,
their eyes watching as long

as they can, watching until
you turn into your own grave.

The World after the Fall

Eve stood there
for a moment
and watched her grace
dry up like water.

Whatever sunshine
had lingered on her skin
was gone

and when
she looked at Adam’s face
she wondered
what she could say
to him.

They had words
of course—
They learned them together
but neither spoke.

What could
she say?


Next time,
it’ll be different?

I didn’t understand?

She just shook her head
and he did too.

John Guzlowski has work in Exquisite Corpse, Ontario Review, and Writer’s Almanac. Lightning and Ashes is a collection of poems about his parents’ experiences in Nazi concentration camps. His novel The Germans is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. contact