Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Physics of Hope

Illustration by Hope Coulter

Remember lessons in displacement, how water is pushed aside
by the hollow of a boat, the way a heart is held in suspension
by absence. Time spent waiting for a ferry to arrive is the same
as other time, even if it seems to pass more slowly. Its derivative
will show the rate of change of the prow cutting through the chop
of a grey Sunday. For every action, an equal and opposite reaction.
You pushed, he ran, a body in motion. Now there are questions
only observation can decide: whether the boxed cat is alive or dead,
whether the boy shows up to a meeting arranged months before
or steps off the gangway with a fistful of drugstore carnations
clutched in hand. Consider the factors at play –– friction, momentum,
tension, gravity, trajectory, entanglement. It’s hard to calculate
the physics of hope against hope. If energy is not created or destroyed,
perhaps love too could be enduring. The equation will soon solve itself
and the future resolve into the facts that eventually make up life.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Late Summer Honey

We will awake to chill and the scent of leaves
some crisp morning and realize summer has left us,
irrevocably, in the night. What will we have then ––
a rumbling of apples on the roof, frost-tinged roses,
sweaters and jean jackets, afternoons of white wine
and tea sandwiches? In the last failings of the gardens,
the sleepy susurration of bees will lull us to sleep
beneath the sly warmth of the mid-day sun.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Rilke -- Autumn Day

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.
Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.