"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

After Everything Else


After everything else

in January,

there are still strings of lights

blinking out stars and trees,

outlining frames of houses,

holding off the dark for

one more night.

The winter sky is clear enough

to almost see tomorrow.

I stood in the snow and tried

but my feet got cold too soon

to make it out.

What the last lights show best

is the darkness of other houses.

You walk with me now Love,

but I’m seeing when you won’t.

All I have to struggle with may

not keep you beside me.

This street is a thousand streets.

This evening it’s ours, but it will be

mine and yours. After different jobs and

other deaths and births and tragedies

we couldn’t believe right now.

You may walk this street in another city,

in another winter. You’ll still be feeling

everything this year took away, but it

will be under your skin by then, too

blurry to name anymore.

By then it will be an ache in your shoulders,

a constant pull to turn around. If you listen,

you’ll see the shape of me, or someone who

looks a lot like me, about to disappear around

a corner. Maybe you’ll love me again for that

familiar second and almost call my name.

but the wind will sting your cheeks

and you’ll think of a dark house in January

the night after all the lights were taken down.

-Brent Allard

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Six Parts of an Answer


She said she understood the distance

childhood builds into us.

I mentioned bread

and she said, “Say hunger

if that’s what you mean.”

We slept soundly in the fields

while steel clouds

churned destruction into rain.

Watching the plains, the thunder knew.

I saw the golden ladder reaching heaven.

All night I wrestled with the angel.

I wouldn’t let go until he told me,

that cold is just a matter of degree.

You have forgotten the cup of coffee,

that every cup since has been measured against,

and forgotten the proper form of a certain grief,

forgotten the street, the sound, the name.

Suppose that this Wednesday

those things delayed come to pass,

She waits for you with what she’s heard

a thousand words line up for you

like pigeons.

She said, “I will be any three.”

You laughed, only ready for two,

Throw runes to the birds.

Let need divide the waters.