I want to dedicate this poem to my son
who I worry into a misshapen form of worry.
And to worry itself, how it hangs
like a blanket over the head of a horse.
Why do they blanket the heads of horses
standing by themselves alone in a field,
not seeing, but snorting and roaming,
their skins seeking each other’s aloneness?
I have no idea. I have never owned a horse,
though property is no giver of ideas.
Forgive me, my mother has died,
and I am trying to understand, so my son
understands why his father’s saying
nothing in the car, the yard, the table.
My mother has died. Do you know?
It’s like standing in a field, swallows
carving flit and whir and hatch,
then it’s like the field being gone.
No one notices in the clumsy fog.
Do you see there is no distance?
She is not a thing. There are no figures
for this grief, the air tastes of ground.
Have you ever lost all context?
I tack this poem to a telephone pole
that survives drought, survives flood,
though it is made of heat and water.
The other day, walking across the room,
my son looked at me like he was eyeing
a sick planet, then put his arms around
his weeping father, who can’t make it
through a meal without weeping,
as if holding a planet might heal it.
I want to thank him, but only have this poem,
a raft I’ve made from the skins
of flayed horses I’ve filled with air.
It floats between us. It is wrong he feels
asked to wade the river, his love
a busted hydrant on a forever sunny day.about the author