It’s late morning, late spring — opera of cicadas in the tallgrass obscure sorrows, a field recording we make by moving into the green heart of this clearing: a waterfall to engrave the fog with white noise & little diamonds. We stay & watch nature happen for a while. My blood is hot. I’m longing for this time like it’s over already but I’m still inside it — what’s the word for that? Language fails, dumb joke about a horse with a long face.
From this ache of time we sort of know what could have been possible We split our futures tender in the going & this feels like a forgetting our bodies do without us even as the pixels approximate our faces until we are far off again inside our own distances When we video call for the first time I study all the angles of the room & her smooth black turtleneck sweater She lives in Berlin near a lake with swans & counts them for me I live in Virginia a few blocks from the river where teenagers go to share cigarettes & practice their brand-new feelings on the cinematic boulders Enjambed how we are always stopping & always going on inside this modern romance facsimile that fits inside our small machines slipping us through screens into high dramatic futures All the other lives we almost lived but didn’t & won’t See how we subtract ourselves from space before we allow ourselves to fill it Today she texted me a photo: flock of swans glossing under the bridge little moons on the water sunglint metallic To be adrift & that luminous — Tell me it’s late but not too late —
ALLISON TITUS is the author of three collections of poetry, including the forthcoming HIGH LONESOME (Saturnalia Press, 2023); a novel and several chapbooks, including SOB STORY, winner of the Barrelhouse chapbook prize. Her poems have appeared in A Public Space, Tin House, The Believer and Gulf Coast among other journals, and she is the recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Yaddo. Along with the poet Ashley Capps, she is the co-editor of the poetry anthology The New Sent(i)ence, forthcoming from Trinity University Press in 2024.
Artwork by David Dodd Lee.
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