A poem by Richard Donnelly.
After brushing her hair “to keep the tangles out. There they are.
There are these great distances,
in between your ribs. I want to kiss the furrows that dip
along your side, open up dark, raw spaces,
and plant my words there.
If a frog and a squirrel
met while walking their dogs
in the park
with the light going through
sideways trees and dinner
crock-potting at home,
I think he’d pick her up. The dogs share a bone in
the kitchen, pretend this is
My dear son:
Your old man trembles,
looking into a mirror,
seeing your face.
He used words like robust, timeline,
roadmaps, and concrete, while the audience
meditated and prayed,
mean I don’t think so. Because every time I open
a big fat mouth of mine,
it’s like an aberrant keyboard
making thistles out of whistles
and crow out of Velcro.
Silence in the wind
Leaves blow off trees around
Lawn mower disturbs
When we were now
and so close to touching
It seems I was born to count winters. My years are scored by falling leaves.
I shift my weight from one foot to the other
In my body, I follow worry through the world
like a raindrop pursues gravity
There are a thousand ways to purge the soul,
but I’ve never learned their names I imagine lighting candles made of skulls and
releasing ten cries of feminine, feral power
I wake up still a lonely bird
I am no wolf
I am no wild nomad
I am a trail of water waiting to meet the land
Outside, everyone drinks wine in the garden, offering it to the latecomer, who refuses repeatedly. A naked woman emerges from an in-ground pool, wine glass in her hand, offering him a sip and asking if he can distinguish the grape variety.
in retrospect, she was too old to be fucking around in the car
knew better than to kick the back of her mother’s seat
swear at her younger brother while her father was driving. but the road was empty
the sky was clear, and reason seemed to just
float out the window to follow the birds.
I took my brother to the mountain. I took him to the sea.
I want a blend of cardamom and sunshine,
and let’s hope there’s no rain that day. I want a palace, not a place—add the A.
I will store my shadow here; I will store my grace.