Mutation I watch liquid solidify There is movement while paint is wet Silent conquest of state by state Stealthy, permanent ebbing tide What’s the scale of this sky’s map? It’s like watching the moon wane Novels’ type into words set Making amber from tree sap Speechless, thinking all life dry Breathing helps — it’s a long wait While it’s wet, it has not died Not a fossil, not yet slain
Peeplessness In my echoing mind’s void I can hear my heart beat I can feel somebody’s thoughts Or my thoughts someone might repeat My own voice I can drown out With this silence I’ve long toyed Words pulsate into their slots Stars send signals though light’s bled Blurred by time so there is doubt Not to speak I have not vowed Throbbing thoughts in my hushed head It’s a symptomless gagged growth So I live though not out loud Are they words if they aren’t said? What’s to keep when there’s no oath?
Max Orkis lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He works as a food writer and as a narrative designer for mobile games. His English and Russian prose and poetry have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, The Atomic Flyswatter anthology, Weber — The Contemporary West, The Milo Review, Gravel, Empty Sink, Words with JAM, 2011 Grigoryev Competition Anthology, Topos, Polutona, Dvoetochie, and elsewhere.