Volume 14 • Number 2 • Fall-Winter 2022-2023

Kenneth Kesner

stoic ceremony

not even the sheets of ice
from a roof or other places you’d forgotten
each might break all at once
very loud louder than you ever imagined
will they stay long enough for you
another to recall
where they must have been just then
here one can sense more than time allows
as you wander about for a way back
all uncertain of how you got here
look at the snow falling again and again
her eyes of desperation and those prayers
and to believe that much
you couldn’t speak not even wanting to
it’s like not listening so long you can hear
a legend was to have happened there
they say only smoke rises and falls quietly
living and dying in the way of gravity
shades against everything left for a while
it seems someone has to be inside
no one really knows
peering halfway through branches
dividing things pointing this way or that
until the wind finally goes
and someone else like you asks about days
as people are wont to
then everyone leaves confused
in the places you once thought about

Kenneth Kesner (肯内思) has lived and worked in Asia for several years. He’s twice received a publication award from National Cheng-chi University (ROC) and accepted academic placements through the State Administration of Foreign Experts (PRC). He received but declined a one-year appointment to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Some recent works are featured in: Arlington Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, San Pedro River Review, Wayne Literary Review and The Woven Tale Press.