15 January 2010 | Vol. 9, No. 4
– for Rachel
tell us about evening and about the bright
star tell us about the huge dark wall
where it is pinned so if no one is looking
the sky is really burning and tell me it is my eyes
that douse it all to soot, black branches
with one root in carbon and budding eternity.
explain that once a month a family of owls covers
the tree, winks at us, refuses to explain their singing.
when snow is thinly falling we see you there,
the slowest star, and I hear you thinking
of a story, that mute wetness spread across the field is you
clearing your throat, all stories being born
from silence. what story: the snowflakes
cut from the sun are large as cars in the darkness
and grow small and doily when licked
by January stars. what story: barefoot,
running in the wake of the plow,
cold black clods and white sun blessing your steps,
no Jesus yet to dream you into majesty, earth
being enough, no steeple secrets, no divine moons
to pin back your hair, no soap for your tongue, no lye,
no alabaster mothers to sew in a new tongue
and holy toast, cracked as headstones, for you to chew.
are you ready to climb to the top of the stairs?
to tell me about the star nation, the unnamed,
what some grandfather of the clean, glowing
cafes and dive bars of the moon
call morning, a newborn's grouchy hunger?
the dew its mouth and tongue sing for?
think of me in the low thorns, hunched like an umbrella,
my small ribs breaking toward the clouds like love.
About the author:
Chris Pexa's poems have appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Juked, and other journals. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville with his wife, Melissa, and daughter, Wren.