You are tracking a veery
you realize you have always been
after the singing near the excellent sea
excruciating reflection of the sun
on the water & you staring
at an oblique tree after a trill—
The sea never mattered. Your friend
last night said the coast was the only
reason she could stand as she stood
under a tree smoking, & you looked
behind her at a grafted branch
braced & tied to a driftwood splint
as if it could heal
or maybe since it never will.
You aren’t listening,
Listening never mattered, only
standing under a broken limb
as she talked about some other boy.
Somehow you all manage to be friends
though she used to get blitzed
& kiss you. Never sober.
You love her. You love veeries. inchworms.
Why? The bird illuminating the tree
the bug folding & pressing until
if wind conditions, if travel plans,
the weather cooperating just right.
Then the veery bolts over the sound,
unimpressive to look at, sure,
but tugging long after you lose sight.
Joey Gould is a poet, produce clerk, & educator living in a town called Hopedale. He is a longstanding contributor to Mass Poetry & Mass Leap efforts, writing for Masspoetry.org, leading workshops for Student Day of Poetry events, & helping to coordinate every Massachusetts Poetry Festival since 2011. You'll probably bump into him if you're headed to a Mass Audubon sanctuary.
It continues to snow dust.
The sun comes out of the closet.
Jays enter under the door
jumping over a line of air.
Maybe it was just the light,
cracked somewhere, leaked out,
lucky—I thought you shifted away
in voice, my mouth to hear,
My senses are a cushion, and yet this horror appears to taste my morrow. My alarms are useless because they are on fire with the rest of my home.
Be honest now—
just for a minute; I cried.
I had him locked out—
a perfectly good wish.
Privately, for over a year now you drove off and left me.
The place cooled down beaming and bright—
put my name on a silencer (it’s not the end of the world).
In the mirror, the wooden bust of Christ Nicodemus carved
and Joseph commended to the sea, stares out for reflection.
Only a true spell
of fittingly glamorous phenomena
repaired sunstruck imagination—
Too big for your body, the whale of a bed will go on sale; also the dresser, its
three-linked mirrors tall as sails.
The Nazis are back in town.
No, I know. They never, ever left.