Rick Bursky



The Gotterdammerung


I told her my tongue was an earthquake.

She replied, “my mouth is a temple.” 

Not wanting to bring an earthquake

to a temple, I leaned away. 

“Let’s try again,” she said, “pretend 

my mouth is not a temple.” We were about to kiss 

for the first time. The distance between our lips, 

the thickness of two sheets of lined notebook paper.

I was once the needle in a compass, 

each magnetized hair searching. 

I was once hinges on a door. What was it you said 

when you heard me open? 

I was once the Aurora Borealis struggling 

in the night. We started over. 

Her finger pushed my chin. She studied

what she was about to do.

All the lights in the world flickered.



Carrier Pigeon, Guttenberg, NJ, Vol. 4, Issue 1, Winter 2014.