binds

Standard

 

For What Binds Us
There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they’ve been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.
And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,
as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—
And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

 

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash 

remembering

Standard

Remembering
P.K. Page

Remembering you and reviewing
our structural love
the past re-arises alive
from its smothering dust.
For memory, which is only decadent
in hands like a miser’s
loving the thing for its thingness,
or in the eyes of collectors who assess
the size, the incredible size, of their collection,
can, in the living head, create and make
new the sometimes appallingly ancient present
and sting the sleeping thing
to a sudden seeing.
And as a tree with all its leaves relaxed
can shiver at the memory of wind
or the still waters of a pool recall
their springing origin and rise and fall
suddenly over the encircling basin’s lip—
so I, remembering from now to then,
can know and see and feel again, as jewels
must when held in a brilliant branch of sun.

try

Standard

 

Try
Maggie Anderson
To move the language toward happiness,
or failing that, toward love. Like this:
the trees have undone their sandals and silk saris,
thrown light scarves down onto the brickwork.
One red thread is caught mid-air on an updraft,
held by a spider web. Remember the way
he described the green soup he moved through
coming out of surgery? A swift current
of warm water, swirling and turning among
floating cylinders, friends inside them talking.
Next door the little boy swings higher and higher.
His half-scream is also half-laugh — more, more.
Follow the vowels; laudanum, potpourri, chrysanthemum.
Trust the verbs: to meander, to sashay, to bear up.

Photo by Pedro Vit on Unsplash 

today, another universe

Standard

Today, Another Universe
Jane Hirshfield

The arborist has determined:
senescence         beetles       canker
quickened by drought
but in any case
not prunable     not treatable     not to be propped.

And so.

The branch from which the sharp-shinned hawks and their mate-cries.

The trunk where the ant.

The red squirrels’ eighty foot playground.

The bark  cambium    pine-sap    cluster of needles.

The Japanese patterns       the ink-net.

The dapple on certain fish.

Today, for some, a universe will vanish.
First noisily,
then just another silence.

The silence of after, once the theater has emptied.

Of bewilderment after the glacier,
the species, the star.

Something else, in the scale of quickening things,
will replace it,
this hole of light in the light, the puzzled birds swerving around it.

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

after your death

Standard

After Your Death
Natasha Trethewey

First, I emptied the closets of your clothes,
threw out the bowl of fruit, bruised
from your touch, left empty the jars

you bought for preserves. The next morning,
birds rustled the fruit trees, and later
when I twisted a ripe fig loose from its stem,

I found it half eaten, the other side
already rotting, or—like another I plucked
and split open—being taken from the inside:

a swarm of insects hollowing it. I’m too late,
again, another space emptied by loss.
Tomorrow, the bowl I have yet to fill.

Photo by Łukasz Rawa on Unsplash