by Lars Arvis
I’ve been craning my neck so I can peer
at a house hidden beside an alley
to reaffirming my own collections of time.
Those two months loom far behind me
yet still not far enough to settle my eyes against
that house on North Delaware. December and
January make a much better pairing than we did.
My new building (not haunted by you)
rests at the bottom of icy river bluffs
on the edge of miles and miles of trees.
These late-winter evenings I creep onto
the balcony, iron railing cradling my back
as I lean. I left the front door cracked,
I make sure the windows are lifted from
their sills so I can continue inhaling burned nag champa.
When the coyotes welcome the night by howling
at murky rolling clouds I will ask the forest why
you did what you did. I can interpret whatever happens
next as my long-searched-for answer. I know it doesn’t
work this way. These are not poetic statements.
As these embers of the past float through
biting nocturnal breeze, I’m reassured nature
doesn’t blame its shortcomings on the Zodiac.
It will never throw books, slam doors upon its parting.
I was backed into your corner when I
swung the escape-door wide.
It shouldn’t have taken so long to exit your life;
but, my god, you wouldn’t let me leave.