Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday Poem: "Dark Harvest" by Joseph Millar

           For Annie

You can come to me in the evening,

            with the fingers of former lovers

fastened in your hair and their ghost lips

            opening over your body,

They can be philosophers or musicians in long coats and colored shoes

and they can be smarter than I am,

            whispering to each other

                        when they look at us.

You can come walking toward my window after dusk

            when I can’t see past the lamplight in the glass,

when the chipped plates rattle on the counter

            and the cinders

dance on the cross-ties under the wheels of southbound freights.

Bring children if you want, and the long wounds of sisters

            branching away

                        behind you toward the sea.

Bring your mother’s tense distracted face

                        and the shoulders of plane mechanics

slumped in the Naugahyde booths of the airport diner,

            waiting for you to bring their eggs.

I’ll bring all the bottles of gin I drank by myself

            and my cracked mouth opened partway

as I slept in the back of my blue Impala

                                                          dreaming of spiders.

I won’t forget the lines running deeply

            in the cheeks of the Polish landlady

who wouldn’t let the cops upstairs,

            the missing ring finger of the machinist from Spenard

whose money I stole after he passed out to go downtown in a cab

and look for whores,

            or the trembling lower jaw of my son, watching me

back my motorcycle from his mother’s driveway one last time,

            the ribbons and cone-shaped birthday hats

scattered on the lawn,

                                  the rain coming down like broken glass.

We’ll go out under the stars and sit together on the ground

            and there will be enough to eat for everybody.

They can sleep on my couches and rug,

                                                         and the next day

I’ll go to work, stepping easily across the scaffolding, feeding

the cable gently into the new pipes on the roof,

                                                                  and dreaming

like St Francis of the still dark rocks

that disappear under the morning tide,

                                             only to climb back into the light,

sea-rimed, salt-blotched, their patched webs of algae

blazing with flies in the sun.

by Joseph Millar

For more information about poet, Joseph Millar, see:

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