A year lived, a future taken down, demystified. June becomes a signpost or rather a mottled mirror sending back some distortion of its namesake. This time last year expects Junes to have something in common. If I expect, I build resemblances.
I believed, at least, that we stood in the same tall grass. Any obfuscation was slim enough to guess around or bend gently as a leaf. To think in speaking I was seeing, and in seeing, speaking, did I believe we negotiated on the grass, on a shifting image standing in for truth? How do we arrive at an agreement and where? Do we?
It’s said those who hunt foxes are given to other forms of hunting. “Negotiation” was born in the hunting field. A hedge cleared on horseback and the kill we chase beyond the hedge. And later, that which is tackled successfully.
What is tackled? A truth or what we concede in order to agree? I suppose I’m not asking. I’m zigzagging you by the wrist around an idea about division. To say, to impart, to divide, to compromise wholeness.
Past the hedge is the lure, the blur of a running thing. Run that thing ragged. Run it down. And once tackled, nothing rustles the grass; nothing corrupts the harmony of our view.
What do you see?
Sun, sun among the grass, a small line of sky. And you?
Sky narrowed to a line, grass among the sun, sun.
In cold sweat, in the suds of middle night, I lose whole cities, sequences like a dropped call. Before I forget, I write down WILL. I write down WILLIAM. I write MYRA. No, ENID.
That sounds good. That sounds good with I love you, Enid. Your father loves you, Enid.
That’s why he made you up last year like a ghost only he could swear to. And he swore to you. And like a fool I spoke to you. I speak to you now.
His tongue left honey on my cheek.
Then, a fleck of tree lodged in the crux of the book, and that’s how I’m brought this awake to the names of my daughters: I too am a vessel, the record of something coming.
Come after, hunted, you could say of wind’s designs, or combing velvet hair on the plains. I’d beg of you, but it’s just as well to yell it here: what can’t I make.
Daylight shuffled by wind in the blinds so that the uprightness of the room is a question. Before noise, before the ply of skin, before triangles of winsome yellow bob like debutantes on the wall. Before outside is life entering: waking is preceded by a door you’re threaded forward through as by the lust of a ghost. The now dragged behind—what’s said, we will, all will, shaken out on a wake.
Look back at your apocryphal kingdom. The distance between litter unregistered and your eye hooked bloodlessly on horizon is the only description for here. You’ve skipped the year. Whole months pictured in avatars, something small: remembered curves of rain laid over winter coming, a car’s blurred arrow lodged between trees, a future stranded there on the threadbare idea of a porch, borrowing its scribbled version of a wife.
What if I asked you to stand still now, barefooted on the needle grass, the house staged and posted, saying nothing, subject to long curses of drift, the sun’s white claw-grip stabling you?
Sara Renee Marshall hails from the west. She procured degrees in Political Science, History and Poetry from University of Colorado. Sara is the author of a chapbook, Affectionately We Call This The House (Brave Men, 2013). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in places like Interrupture, Colorado Review, CutBank, Omniverse, and Octopus Magazine. She lives, teaches and writes mostly in Denver, Colorado.