Fall 2016 (Volume 20, Issue II): 20th Anniversary Issue




this fever-tide of summer
with dogs, cats, and children nagging
in and out my front door,

      whole nights spent listening
      to the graveyard-whine of raccoons
      fighting for grease on my backyard grill.

And is this mine, this ceiling
fan that never stops spinning,
churning memories like dust

      until I can almost see the river
      receding from your eyes as your body
      opens to mine.

And what about this dried and broken
leaf I sweep from the floor and out
the door like another’s grief,

      as if it could live anywhere else,
      as if it could somehow belong
      to this sun that eats the sky

the silence so violent
it stops mouths from wanting,
knowing things unspoken

      can turn to one more explosion
      in this little book of days we pretend
      to read, afraid, as we are, of coming
      to the end.

And the things that aren’t there,
are they mine, too, like rain
from last night’s storm,
like the words we’ll never say

      to each other, the things
      we’ll never do, the way I wanted
      to hold you as if we could share
      breath with the wind.

I think I know the answer,
sometimes, when I lie across
this deep plain where nothing is,

      except the night in which you
      and I live, except the ache
      in which we both take part,

except the fact that no thing
is ever alone the way
water running over stone

      takes a little bit of stone
      with it, every time.

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