Numbness by Karen Mary Berr

Maybe in some otherworld,
where no blood drips, and flesh
is just one flash from a derelict past,
where tears lie silent and dry
as placentas of salt,
where everything has a soul
but no nerves and no stomach,
men could find a form of ecstasy
in this awful stillness.

Maybe if we were all mad,
hysterical and naked, howling
like sex-wolves of the sixties,
but not inert as plants
retracting in a triumphant mist,
if we were not provided
with vacant eyes and defeated hearts,
a horizon could brutally break
through computers’ screens.

But we return from drunkenness
with no dream, no vision.
We’re immune to revolutions,
the past runs in our veins for amusement
and future eats it like a tumor.
Today has once again been cancelled.
It opened gently like the fist of a baby
eager to grab some brand-new toy,
now moves, blind, a blade above the wrist.

Hope floats like a gigantic organ in a jar,
with no way to sink
into this salt-saturated water,
bitter as sorrow, bitter as the Sea of Asphalt.
There’s neither end nor awakening.
Memory continually bumps against defeat,
and awakens cold
as though she slept with someone dead
— lusting for a bed she has never been to.

Karen Mary Berr was born in France, where she studied Applied Arts and Art History. She lived in Bosnia, Lebanon and Canada, before returning to France in 2004. Short films based on her poetry have been featured on Moving Poems,Hypocrite Design Magazine and File Electronic Language International Festival (Highlike). Her poems have been published in Lost Coast, El Aleph Press, Deep Water Journal, Construction, and other reviews.

Karen Mary Berr was born in France, where she studied Applied Arts and Art History. She lived in Bosnia, Lebanon and Canada, before returning to France in 2004. Short films based on her poetry have been featured on Moving Poems,Hypocrite Design Magazine and File Electronic Language International Festival (Highlike). Her poems have been published in Lost Coast, El Aleph Press, Deep Water Journal, Construction, and other reviews.

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