The Meadow 2014 Literary and Art Journal - page 8

by Nan Becker
How suddenly it seemed to happen. The sound was
rain, sibilant thunder. The river stood up, pressed
back the sky, and the clouds up-and-downing trackless
distances. Then the wind whelmed—to a breath,
like a chance delicacy, a snap of sleep stretched
out like a permission, elusive as the backs of birds
in flight. Water purled awake a thousand thousand
crickets, in straight-faced astonishment, dauntless
to the moon up there, soft as a cheek—witless and
unspeakable. This moment, a tick, between elsewheres
or thought, one might say the quick of it, is, unaffected
by any befores or to comes, what comes. Moonlight notes
an addled silence, what it means not to speak
. Me
without myself, one could say, thingless, or could say
wedded, both timbre a readiness ebbed—a drawn rein
loosened. If a whipped tail scoffs a fly or the memory
of a fly, words muscle consequences and contingencies.
What has happened is pruned to hearsays—mirages
that pivot sudden uninvited wishes and are startled by
hunger and weather. Each word bound in memory’s heft.
And so distant; as a speck is to clouds or a leaf to autumn,
almost nothing. Dear ones—you would like to know
what you are; a constellation of uncountable breaths,
beaten-hearts, not yet dead.
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