Waters of March


rain today, made me think of this song, beautiful lyrics

the waters of march (águas de março; excerpt)

a stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road
it’s the rest of a stump, it’s a little alone
it’s a sliver of glass, it is life, it’s the sun
it is night, it is death, it’s a trap, it’s a gun

the oak when it blooms, a fox in the brush
the knot in the wood, the song of a thrush
the will of the wind, a cliff, a fall
a scratch, a lump, it is nothing at all

it’s the wind blowing free, it’s the end of the slope
it’s a beam, it’s a void, it’s a hunch, it’s a hope
and the river bank talks of the waters of march
it’s the end of the strain, it’s the joy in your heart ….

©A. D. Joyce, 2016



In another life, I think,
I must have
Stood upon the highest ledge
I could find and in the
Final moment, dizzy, breathless,
Thinking of you,
Learned how to fly.

In another,
My blood trailed from your knife
And I was glad it was yours.

I have died in your arms.

Died wishing to have
Your arms around me.

Died not knowing you
But knowing something.



The Suicide of Dorothy Hale – Frida Kahlo (1938). Courtesy of Frida Kahlo Fans

©A. D. Joyce, 2014



The Passion


It’s one thing to resurrect from the dead:
Hell, millions of people do that every morning.

The real miracle
is to die and walk among the living—
parched, hungry, full of holes,
tongue broken and white as chalk,
sun moon stars and earth
pressing against the small of your back—
and nobody notices a thing.


©A. D. Joyce, 2014




I was the smallest girl in second grade
and Miss Perry, a clear-eyed
pretty bird of a teacher,
always picked me
to help her
with the little classroom chores.
I had a sister who had
more friends than I did and the other
was smarter. But every day
I would dream I was
the belle of the ball.
No matter what the weather,
I declared my life a holiday.
These memories often visit me
during the day, imagine that,
all these years later, life later,
all the joys and tragedies later.
At night, I worry about
the one breath that won’t return to me.
In the end, thoughts don’t die.

(Written for the “Midweek Motif” over at the Poets United blog. The prompt was titled “Holy Days and Holidays.”)

©A. D. Joyce, 2014

Birth and Death Caught on Film


Did I ask for this,
this cold air, this profane
stark light? “Electricity”
they’ll teach me one day
but what they don’t say I’ll have to
pay with blood to learn when
all I want is to be myself.

Are those my eyes,
fixed on the final twist of
unbecoming, the light they reflect dull
and opaque? Will they ever find
who profaned me? Is that
my blood on the floor? I don’t
remember. Some will say I asked
for this but I didn’t.

©A. D. Joyce, 2014