This poem is longlisted for BN Poetry Award.
Somewhere in the room a book is drowning, the floor
is shivering with pages. You said the spine is the balance
to our two winged hearts. Sometimes it’s the light knitting
its letters to our hearts. I see how things hold us in their lights
so we aren’t here or there like you’re here and somewhere
a lover holds you in her heart, light in water teaching these lessons.
Sometimes something holds clearly what we couldn’t say in words.
We face it to learn our silence and that again becomes part of
our languages. Places own us like this, light bounces off them,
turning their spears at me. Our hearts beat now and vision takes
its shapes—the stream of consciousness, nuances as water turn,
streamlet as novella lost in our undercurrent. I’m lost in a story now
or a story’s lost in me. Perhaps we should hang on words so that
we do not drown. Remembering makes living its anchor. So I asked
if it’s us you wanted to save insisting everything is placed this way
and that way of our anniversaries, each moment achieved as light
buried in water—so it’s here or there, past or present, our chairs and tables,
dresser and records becoming the dykes. The mirror’s at an angle
to the world so it does not yield all its light at once. Everything’s our
subject before we become their subject, relying on memories to endure.