KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Renga: 98 words

Reduced to Words Redux

by Bryce Milligan
A decade beyond 
the last contact—we were still
stone and stonecutter—
I’m unsure who was the stone
and who wielded the chisel. 

Here and now we find
imitations of your too-
perfect breasts cut from
stone after stone, curves that fit
palms like a ciborium.

The real work was not
the carving but the stilling 
of my memory, 
stilling forms that were so free.
Exhausted, I am reduced 

to mere words again.
Pen in hand, chafing fingers,
I await the lust
in language that was so warm 
in the chisel, in the stone.

— From “Stone Renga,” an in-progress cho-renga collaboration between several poets

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