Every Home In America Right Before Dawn
starting with a line by Elias Canetti
The word “solitude” has a false ring, as if it came straight from God.
A world in which the earnest cypress bends to the shape of Tower Babel.
Covering the pile of wet wood left in the yard all winter, the tarp billows
in the wind’s blue breath.
His glue gun lay on the floor untouched for years, besotted by hunger.
Bastet, O dreamer of milk rivers, my mortal fingers ache to hold your sweetly mewling litter.
Let them run while roosting crows avow the dawn.
The king of Ur who slew the boar interprets death so differently from us.
In his world, Norwegian air smells remarkably like Pittsburgh air
but with more pines.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of happiness.
The old deserter said: Once this poem enters your consciousness, it enters the infinite.
What if the beautiful part doesn’t come after grief, but during it?
When the stammering junkie puts ink on your body.
When independence starts to break down.
Roaming gray rooms lived-in, stairwell to stairwell, our wreckage
takes refuge in the kitchen.
Moonlight widens the empty side of a bed.
A ravine opens around the house, swallowing it like a desert-parched coyote collapsing.
You relinquish night to its reluctant hour.
Sage is an MFA candidate and COMP fellow at St. Mary’s College in California. Their poetry appears/will appear in Flypaper Magazine, North American Review, Penn Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Find them on Twitter @sagescrittore.