The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

D.J. Hamilton: 1 Poem Published

Poem by D.J. Hamilton (USA/ Mexico), Published in Issue 28.


Each One 

For A.N.S.  (1980-2013)



Each one is the first one.


It does not get easier.


A noise unfolding out of itself

and back into itself

like an Escher painting,

like a deafening wave

coiling into infinity.


A sour, acrid smell

like burnt coffee,

a puff of smoke

and a tiny metal object

shatters a human skull.


The lungs infusing oxygen into the blood,

the great pump pushing gallon after gallon,

the making of hormones and bile and phlegm,

the ovaries releasing eggs,

and other ever present processes of organs,

the exquisite electrical dance

of ions leaping from synapse to synapse

and the cells dividing, re-dividing, re-dividing …



All stop.

All the million little miracles

of human biology



This is not some bullshit Matrix sequel.

Nothing is in slow motion,

and no one dodges a bullet.

Time itself is stopped

as one human life exits the planet.




And the loved ones, the living,

they also leave Earth,

floating for a long time

Into the void of grief,

a universe of its own rules

as vast and incomprehensible as

the stars,

with no telescope or astronomer

to illuminate its empty depths.

There is no explanation,

no theory of relativity

for these relatives

no Galileo to guide

these loved ones, only

the stumbling of their own unseeing hearts.


There are no arms long enough

to hold these broken lives together.

No hug can push this pain away.


They are haunted now

by empty pages and blank canvasses

of unwritten books and unpainted pictures.

They live in a deep silence,

lacking for laughter and songs

that are forever stilled.


Sealed in, like astronauts

in separate, crippled spaceships

they whirl in orbits they never planned

endless ellipses bring them back where they began

without  radio contact

no human voice, no touch

no tears, no prayers can penetrate

the prison of this isolation.


But the universe organizes itself.

along eternal and inviolate laws.

which we cannot resist,

though we comprehend them not.


How can light be a particle

and a wave?

How can that which so wounds us

Heal us again?


Love is a kind of gravity,

a mutual and relentless pull.

Only this invisible, irresistible force,

the love of others,

over time, will slowly

bring the grieving

back to earth.



D.J. Hamilton writes poems and plays.  He lives in Mexico City and teaches at The American School. 

Image: Luigi Russolo (1885- 1947) From The Art of Noises (1913)

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