Two by Shane Kowalski

The Dark Staircase 

The dark staircase leads to nothing. But we take it every once in a while, to another possible fate. Silently, a figure in white is digging a grave for you. It is “Purity.” It’s enough to make you want to splash your blood on white linen and scream. It’s enough to kiss passionately on a black horse in a thunderstorm before you die. This toppled chair indicates something intimate happened. Christine, where are you driving tonight, in this heartbroken fog?     

A Fresh, Shallow Grave 

These tire tracks indicate a swerve into the dark field. In the field is a hollow. In the hollow is a fresh, shallow grave. Christine, do you know this spot? Did you drive here one crisp night to remember how we used to feel? This metaphorical moon tells me a feeling can be mutual across many years. Most nights it feels like a knife is being sharpened at my throat. Dreams sluice out like juice from a squeezed orange. I’ve been like this forever. Who have you been leaving dead on the side of the road lately? 


Shane Kowalski lives in Pennsylvania. He works for the United States Postal Service. He is the author of Small Moods (Future Tense Books).