the good life

The skinny slick of fame dries up: a relief, a betrayal that’s welcome.

Head to the valley and sit by the fall of the stream getting over itself.

The other shore’s close, but walled off by water. You’re wanting a glimpse,

brief apparition; a memo from absence in its black hand. Squint across

at a shape in the aspen: it doesn’t fill the form of deer. It scales the glade

in front of your mind and freezes, disappearing. Force yourself to stay

cross-legged, night spilling ink through the grass. A chill settles over your arms.

Something makes its presence known, like piano-notes moving

through a dark church—a single hand travelling, slow, up the keys.

Silence right after, the deafening kind, the river’s pool slick

with the stillness. A tail breaks the surface. Thought

ripples out. You sit until blackness fills all the blanks—

the far shore ripped out like a stitch.

Published online March 11 2007.

Poets Who Swing Both Ways cover image

This piece was published in ‘Poets Who Swing Both Ways,’ the Spring 2007 issue of CV2.

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