said the horse to the light


Said the Horse to the Light
Carl Phillips

To enter the room is to know at once how it not so long ago
contained fear. Is to understand hesitation both ways: as a form
of worry, and as but a sign for it. Through the room’s lone window,
it’s that ragged end to the season
when to find a sycamore
means watching for the bark’s tendency
toward scab; if birch, then the bark unfurling, less
like a ship’s sails than like the worn-to-parchment-thin stages
of a landfall won barely: hard the crossing,
and only some survived…Sometimes, to trust
the sea isn’t so much the point, anymore, as to know –
without minding it – the sea’s indifference. There’s a series of
rooms where everything between what I remember of us
for a time took place – each room
like this room; not much larger.
Not that I’d go back there.
Not that the names that we used weren’t our own,
but that we didn’t need names, when I’m moved at all.
How precise and absolute I was, and – almost as if therefore – how
unspeakable. The sea itself. Arguing neither for loneliness, nor against it.

Photo by Matt Hardy on Unsplash

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