POETRY BY James Keane

James Keane

A Woman’s Face

deserves to be kissed
for all the innocent love
missed. For pale 
sadness dressed
with tears, never blessed 
by brooding-darkened
years. Beauty burns
a woman’s face to be kissed 
before it dissolves in fears, with
barely a trace. Then, when 
beauty disappears, 
a woman’s face deserves 
to be kissed (softly) 
again (softly) again
(softly) again until 
it returns.

Previously published in the East Coast Literary Review.


To the Unknown Friend 

What I cannot embrace 
I struggle to find: the stirring 
in silence the ivory mask 
of your mind conceals barely from 
just about everyone's view. 

May the searching you do, in virginal 
solitude, uncover anything unknown 
but true. Even if the darkening tremors 
bleeding through you move you 
to a secret passage unearthing 
a hidden silent message 
from someone unknown 
to just about everyone 
and you. But wherever 

your passage may lead you 
at your soldier's pace, may your 
ivory mask dare to bleed through 
the tremors unearthing barely 
a trace of you 
and your dancer's grace. But 

even if hope remains unknown 
or untrue, may nothing, may 
no one protect you or 
conceal you from 

everything that will move 
you, unsettle you 
or even embrace 
in virginal solitude 
the ivory mind 
of your face. 

Previously published in Gold Dust.

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