Here’s a plan called happy hour
At four my daughter took my phone & recorded all the leaves on our hike
& spoke like a documentarian & like all the leaves were alive
& each a different species hidden in stillness,
but sometimes all I want still is to inflict my body on the world,
to be the opposite of a multi-level marketing scheme, to never be ashamed
of even my violence, of even my objectification, which is a perpetuation
strategy, which is a first step, & here’s a plan called happy
hour, like when I was young & we were practicing being dramatic
without understanding that everything is already dramatic
& we’d say “I’m so drunk right now” to get away
with saying the realest thing we could.
“How surely and certainly love…fails itself, even at the very moments where it is also reinventing itself”
The sloppy snow puddle on the pool
is the slogan of the year.
I thought I held your imminence in me, but it was just me.
No feeling ever lasts, you said.
& now I see the future
in maple pods spinning to the trunk’s rivuleted roots.
This is both relief & nightmare.
A funeral for the sun, for the rivers of snow rushing down the roof, for your skin
I can see the future falling
in your father saying “I don’t know how I got this
old,” in Lucy’s fawn hair on the carpet where her bed used to be.
& now I’m a privacy
you can’t have ever,
even when I’m lonely & I want to give myself away.
I can see the future in the lake’s duck-pocked sheen,
in the ice, in the fool’s heart dissolving in me.
The robins in the late snow, their worms frozen to the driveway.
No feeling lasts forever
& feeling is the only thought worth having.
Smile like we’re friends, like history isn’t memory,
like your silver toe ring in last July’s drought sun
wasn’t the jewel that kept me whole for months. I see the future’s hole
open & leafed & what if
after all a tree finally reached its sun? The eruption
of us, the long cloud of us, the best that never happened
because it’s not happening now.
BILL NEUMIRE‘s second manuscript was recently a finalist for the Barrow Street Prize. He reviews books of contemporary poetry for Vallum and for Verdad, where he also serves as poetry editor.