2 Poems by Ian C. Williams
One Way Mirrors
Is this more than temporary
fiction, more than a ghost of ashes
stirred in the wind?
Is this more than an arrow, arched
in its course? Would it have hurt
if it passed straight through?
Or am I blind to the fusillade?
Is this more than the rictus
of the swallow fallen
from its perch in the orchard?
I see you building a structure, but
I fear the frames will be too narrow,
joists too brittle, rafters collapsed to the floor.
I fear the ember to set
this congregation of fallen leaves
My son stares out open windows
watching stars as if
translating their cosmic
stories. He doesn’t
speak, not with his balsa tongue—
doesn’t want to unveil
the eager sun.
He takes to the roof, sleeps
blanketed by dew, refusing
hospitality. Says we pushed
the sky from our homes, refused
lunar bodies welcome, so
he stays outside. When he speaks,
he speaks in hieroglyphs as he winters
the waning summer.
I think he’s looking for answers
to worries he guards
behind his teeth.
Ian C. Williams is an MFA student at Oklahoma State University. He has received the Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for his chapbook, House of Bones, and his poems have appeared in Blue Earth Review, The Altar Collective, The Appalachian Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with his wife, Bailey, along with their dog, two cats, and chameleon.