The Field Between Us
You’re gone and I’m still here.
No current sparks into flame.
My static charge remains the same—
end to like end, I cleave
our terminal ravine. Our love’s
repellent air. Our ever faraway near.
The House We Almost Bought
Passing the house we almost bought
I look through its windows at the man
I almost was, with his wife who’s almost
glad. The children who were almost ours
are almost asleep in rooms they almost had.
The walls are the light of almost day.
I almost stop to say hello. But most days
when I pass the people we almost were,
they’re quiet as songs almost composed.
I almost don’t want to interrupt
where they’re almost going.
The man I almost was pauses at the window
almost shattered by the sun, as if to almost pray.
I almost wonder if he sees me pass, then wonder
what he is about to almost say, as if I’m someone
he almost knows, or could almost be,
which is almost true. He almost is.
What is Written on the Leaves
Of the season, let go. Of the ache to shape and make meaning,
let go. Of the hand in the dark, moss and worm, the awful gnaw.
Of the docked tongue, the root-clenched heart. Let go trunk mold,
branch rot. Of the green shoot that sprouts through your death,
being born, let go. Of the changing light—the euphonious chorus
of children, let go. Of your mother’s hand, your father’s laughter.
Of what has happened to us. Of all far-flung and gone, let go.
Of holding your head in your hands. Of the sap-drawn kiss,
the tickle and itch of weeds, of love’s ooze and ease, let go.
Of I am sorry. Of mote and thorn, of throat dust. Of I need to,
I want to, I have to, I forgot to. Of empty and ample. Of all
the threadbare maps, let go. Of lavish and blaze, the crimson
and gold of this glorious leaving. Sister, prayerful sister,
brother hanging from a branch, let go. Of the myriad and ravenous,
these parasitic griefs, let go. Of the gnarled lie, the spine, the trunk
bent earthward, of gravemouth and world. Of I miss everyone
even when they’re near. Of faith, of the perennial kneel,
the anchored dream, the hold and hull of flesh and soul.
Of what should I have said to save you, of withered stalk:
stuck here, wanting there, let go. Of the clank and drag
of anger’s black anvil. Of the fresh and cleansing rain, of every breath.
Of snow, of the fluttering moth, of shadow, of the tethers
of language, let go. Of look at all I’ve accomplished. Of province
and coastline, of tall grass swaying, the thunderhead tumble
of summer, of a loneliness that’s known you best, of a box
of shells, of the gulls, let go. Let go of thrust and skirl, of desire.
Let go of panic and skitter and sweat. Of pleasure, of bloodroot
and blossom, of touch and hunger. Of phlox and lily, of homesick,
of who was I then, let go. Of marigold, iris, daisy, of the moon
and the pines, of the dew-wet lick and wisp, the lemon spill
of spring mornings, of chasing kites, of running with shoes untied.
Let go of all the songs. Of wall and beam, of plumb line and pen,
of I no longer recognize my hands. Let go of the worn pages,
of pilgrimage, of grace, of afterward. Of stay with me, don’t go,
let go. Of all the shatter and ash. Of your daughter’s, your son’s,
your love’s hands. Of horizon, of what will become of all of this.
Of loose tooth, spindrift, farewell, here goes: let go.
Copyright © Robert Fanning 2017