May 2014 - Comments Off

Leaning into Nothing

Ben Redmond '14

I’m sorry for watching you dance at a party
with no lights on. You were a shape. A shade
or two darker than the air around
us, thrumming, thick. I’ll give you my eyes to see, closed

halfway in a grinned-out and lolling skull,
so you will know how at first, you were a swaying
tree or a cloud curling under itself somewhere
between the tops of all our houses and the moon.
In that dark you were the proof of wind.

If my look sits in the pocket
pit between your collarbones, heavy as something
you cannot see, and when you need something
to blame, lay it on the smoke my mother calls escapism,
though I am never really running from. In truth,

I liked to look like the tongue
likes to return to a sore in the mouth. We touch
the tooth that aches the most, like learning the curves
of marble statuary. Later through the clustered crowds gone
outside on the lawn to look at night. Each of us
spoke the middle of little things, gods of noise
and worship and grass. Airplanes broke up

through clouds underneath the end of air. Where stars are
visibile to the onboard and awake always and forever
that city neon and traffic light bleeds my favorite color
into the lower sky. My favorite color is our fists

in their pockets, the color of black without
light, which does not exist, for little do we live
in an ink painting. That night I walked

into a mangy and sickening love with my teeth
gnashing. I’m waiting for my license to carry
on. In your hands my hands and wrists were boiled
vegetables, I assure you. I assure you, I went home

that night and stopped on the way to consider how
far back I could rock on my heels before
the ground met me like a friend who waits outside
a train station for a friend. Before sleeping as usual
on my side I was on the other side of
tomorrow and still instantly aware of the past
four hundred cold spring seasons on this northeast
hillock in the valley where the galaxy’s seams show.

This is dust in your pocket. This is infinite

shrapnel of something you carried around.

Published by: in Issue 2: Spring 2014, Volume 70

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