Almost Without Sound | Michael J. DeValve

Almost without sound you round the corner and then there 
      you are:
I turn like the gears of a clock, compelled beyond 
     resistance and
Again, I am confronted with a circumstance that 
     defies reason: you
Smile and roll your eyes as I try and fail
To show you the course of heartblood in me
As it traces past my loins, toward my feet and then out,
Tributary to the wide and swift current, a glacier poured,
Almost silent, irresistible, sliding to the sea.

Mere belonging, my belonging is mere.
I was, become, and am, a smear
On a canvas; round strokes rich with indigo thick 
     pigment and
Thin yolk yellow squeaks hold court with angry mud and 
     laser red;
Rusty blood blameworthy waters hopeful green, but 
     The Painter cannot be found.
The painter is found
In silence.     There is no painter, no paint.
But there is color and sorrow.
And hope.     There is hope.
Hope and sorrow are lovers, one inside the other,
Moving deeply.
So entangled they are, hope and sorrow, that only one
Can be seen at a time.

Bodies mangled by choices, smashed by meaning, 
     somehow stand
And move, not knowing
They’re already rotting.
Fear and Reason throw gasoline and acid at the bodies
Never seeing the children they doom to suttee for it.
Fear and Reason, turns out, can’t see children.
I can, because of you, and because of you I do my best
To dry their eyes and hold them, shivered, sobbing.
Fear and Reason throw gasoline and acid into a mirror.
Because of you, tomorrow I will hold them, too.

Oil Painting
©2021 Miroslava Panayotova

Poetry ©2023 Michael J. DeValve
All rights reserved

Michael J. DeValve…

…is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Bridgewater State University. Michael’s scholarly focus is love and justice. His works include A Different Justice: Love and the future of criminal justice practice in America(2015),A Unified Theory of Justice and Crime: Justice that love gives(2018), and Personal Ethics and Ordinary Heroes:The social context of morality(2021),and articles in Contemporary Justice Review, Critical Criminology,Police Quarterly, and the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology.