29 January 2009 | Vol. 8, No. 4

Reach and Retreat

She watched my arm's arc as I heaved the stick.

I plumbed her eyes for something, and the dog retrieved the stick.

At the abandoned mine she put her hand on mine

To guide me first to second; awkwardly, I learned to drive stick.

The hotel bar is smoky, and we drink to a cornered silence,

My whisky straight, hers watered and stirred with a swizzle stick.

Oh, but I'm strange at times, translucent in certain shades of light,

With crumpled hands, and knees like pine knots on frail and brittle sticks.

This is what you wanted, Houle, a heart to seize a heart,

Now your words sputter. It's your tongue you must unstick.

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About the author:

Adam Houle lives in Lubbock, TX, where he studies at Texas Tech. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Passages North, Pebble Lake Review, Bateau, and elsewhere.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 8, No. 4, where "Reach and Retreat" ran on January 29, 2009. List other work with these same labels: poetry, ghazal.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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