haptic and the history of making glass – by Paul Koniecki

-for Anas al-Basha and for Aleppo

His furnaces are an ocean
of invisible sun.

my father works there, we can see
the knuckle-sweat and we can see the waves
in the air like mirage.

Our lost country teaches us to carry
forward in bare hands
the idea of learning by touch

jobs are closing irises
each second ticks with the softness

of a shrapnel crucifixion.
In line for food we recall the difference between marinade and tenderize.

Touching explosions, rejoinder
of powder and shells, lambast of plaster,
piled where the word

rubble is ashamed
it doesn’t have more r’s to give to you.
Terrible rest before the return

to day-lit horror
or war of art itself
blankets of glass,

alone’s disaster shaking more
white powder from its frayed and curling

Syria is a live mosaic walking.
The dark whole of the night is a laughing mouth.
One more

rust-red and orange
ambulance holding one more
rust-red and orange boy

in it’s maw like an angel of utopia
being made to fight with it’s mouth full

or a rescue dog lost in the snow.
Al-Basha the clown of Aleppo is dead.
Elders cry paper-maiche.

the rust-red boy is calling,
the mop-topped ragamuffin has half

of his head covered in mud.
The Baron Hotel is a pontoon floating
by the middle of the city.

I worry what it moors to
may be a ghost. Gypsum-catcher,
skulls with no hair for dust.

The world is less.
Electric screen, Aleppo is us. To
make glass sand must be heated

in excess of three thousand two hundred
degrees. The ocean is a dream. Furnace
of invisible sun

the sky is a crematorium.
White, white, white, rocket-
death is powder and fire and white.

Paul KonieckiPaul Koniecki lives in Dallas, Texas. He was once chosen for the John Ashbery Home School Residency. His poems feature in Richard Bailey’s movie “One of the Rough” distributed by AVIFF Cannes. Paul proudly sits on the editorial board of Thimble Literary Magazine. His poems have appeared in Henniker Review, Chiron Review, Gasconade Review, As It Ought To Be Magazine, Trailer Park Review, and many more. Paul is currently finishing his MFA at VCFA.