Chemistry on Hold

Bread in its bag, day-old

baby blue speckled like snow
across a field of wheat

sticking to the tips only

the Great Plains and the great


of such a space, vast and flat

this stillness, this morphing from life

to shelf life.

Once, I was without
this conundrum of memory
of our lower halves

hands holding my hips in that flowery dress

drinking barley wine in a hotel room

shades of mauve

and time drifting mauve to
gray, this precision of colors

that precede disaster, the sky

of a few twisters
of a wheat field
and afterward

that rain being cold, dress dripping heavy
onto concrete steps.

And, since the beginning, roots uprooting.
young, climbing through shallow dirt. My sky so distant
a blue, the spark a cross-handling of cables, dusk fire sitting like fog

like us in our twenties at nightfall on a terrace
in Buenos Aires. Darkness a shield, you behind it
with another girl singing our favorite songs
like they were only songs.
Children in the narrow streets
squealing like bats, splitting the night into crystals.

We see our reflections

only our former selves instead

only the dog tired and smiling on a cold marble floor.

Now, who is dreaming? Who is lost
with us, dreaming, waiting
to dream or to lose,
one body in the quiet plains,
for how long?
A loose wire dangling from a pole, half disconnected.
The wind, dangerous as fire, dangerous with fire.

Love isn’t a word, I know, but
is this true?

Is this true? What am I saying

I can live with

or without?


Grist | 2013