Poem to be read in the middle of the night (v)
We never plan to leave. Even with no pretense
to stay, a moment washes over me that I could
be dead this moment, and of what I would not
have the moment to question, only gone,
leaving behind a family and world unprepared
to master day and hour and mortality, not
by me at any rate. Teeth in, fears bared,
no held breath barred, I breathe a bit longer.
In a space under trees I can hear the wind that is not here
like a can kicked across the street by a boy still coming
or as if the act of the boy shaping his mouth to shout
made a sound before the sound of the shout
What is the word that I hear before the trees
above me shake and give the wind a momentary word
What is the sound of a loosening of leaves
like forgetting hands just before they drop
to our sides? The interval of apprehension.
The time we are alive. The boy stepping up the curb.
Early Morning Sky
Underlit clouds reach across the new day’s ceiling
like a giant hand trying to trap something.
Or save someone. But I’m hidden beneath these trees
and houses. It goes on, drifts beyond, the wrong way.