Poems of the Week

1 May

THREE POEMS BY JAMES GALVIN

January Thaw

Winter snowpack is not your jazz.
You can’t riff it over and you can’t take it back
Once it’s out of the horn
Bright as tears but much more boring,
Your constants without variants
Mewl from the eaves.
That’s why the fish is full of sea.
Just out of curiosity,
How many times did you kiss me
Without meaning it?
Don’t be shy, it’s out of the horn.
Turn your back on the past
And you’re gone.

Promises are for Liars

Because, you know,
Either you’re going
To do it or
You’re not.
Slight as light
Reflected from the stream
Onto the wavering
Willow leaves,
Eternal love
Doesn’t need
Eternity, see?
A cyclone of sand-
Hill cranes
Rises from the corn
Slathering the
Ephemeral work.
Let’s don’t worry
Let’s don’t ask.
Our institutions
Are standing by.
But I keep thinking
How easy it is
To get lost in the sky
With nothing holy
To defend.

So Long

I look down at my hand and there’s a wrinkling ocean in it.
A halcyon nest rocks on careless waves.
Small in the bottom of the nest, fledgling, my father curls.
He doesn’t look so good.
What I say, what he says, what does it matter?
I’ve got this ocean in my hand, and there’s no cure for that.

* from X: Poems , Copper Canyon Press, 2003

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