James B. Nicola
There is a land
There is a land where the anomalies
of living do not matter anymore.
We came across it after centuries,
and now you too seem headed to this shore.
Here no one tells the German from the Pole,
the South Vietnamese from Viet Cong.
The sinner, who inflicted, and the soul
afflicted by the sinner—get along.
As with a mirror image, howls are mute
here, though. Not that there's not still cause for screams,
but stillness rules, and sound is hard. The lute
is stringless, wings as impotent as dreams.
You living creatures hear us when we speak
and think it signs, or singing, when we shriek.
James B. Nicola's poems have recently appeared in Shot Glass, the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, and Poetry East. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His first full-length poetry collection: Manhattan Plaza (2014); his second, Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (June 2016). A Yale graduate, James has been giving both theater and poetry workshops at libraries, literary festivals, schools, and community centers all over the country. More at sites.google.com/site/jamesbnicola.