Paul Hostovsky

Every time he read or wroteor heard or spoke the wordsuffering, he paused. It wasn’tthe solemn way some people pauseto give thanks before a meal,nor the sudden mid-sentence pause after the nameof someone you loved so much you loseyour breath every time—Nor was it the ceremoniousmoment of silencesitting on all the bowed heads in a room,nor the silence that fills a room when a roomempties, the door snapping to.It was more like a smelling, a listeningfor the aftertaste of something in the mouth, somethingnot in the mouth anymore butin the body now. In the pause,he would listen the way you listenat the mouth of a wellfor a dropped stone,waiting for it to tell you something.

The Fountain Look at the fountain, lookat the water shooting up like a treeper second, tree per second,breaking into flower then falling,breaking into flower then falling,up the hill of the air and down,and the eye hardly knows where to look,so much living and dying, living and dying,and at first the eye looks up because upis where everything seems to be rushing,but then the eye looks down because downis where everything seems to end up.And soon the eye grows tired of looking.The tree of the eye grows thirsty and it closes.It drinks for a brief time from the darkness.Then it starts all over again, look—tree per second, tree per second.

Paul Hostovsky's latest book of poems, A Little in Love a Lot, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. To read more, visit his website