Sunday, December 9, 2012



They are so lovely and they cannot get out

similarly, the light fades, thickens, and the moon
twice as big. if there are bars, if the key is lost
the sky is not affected. (this, a world where women
watch women, there are cages, creatures). as
a last night, final evening, or dusk in the mist
(of all fortune, rings shining there, dressed
improperly after all, in un-serious shoes) before
the park closes, we’re no longer welcome, I pretend
to pass along, to gather slowly, to walk the parking lot
toward my own, watching

similarly the bed creaks. the tree blossoms, the radishes
twice their size. a bare skill to begin: women
and their children, a rake and a hoe. loose rattlings
of the daylight, an afternoon in spades. the bird turns
on its own, the ground beneath is moving. subtle ways
the shade extends, the minimum of a (human being)
the smallest gesture of (nature) inverted in springtime
the wet rocks, the hose that goes on, the house butted up
to a buzzing garden. what shade of blue? which brown? how
to get outside enough to see myself looking in?

[“They are so lovely and they cannot get out” was first published in Western Humanities Review (2011)]


Maybe next week, maybe the week after

the meadow wrapped in plastic, some place I hadn’t known, maybe
an insect (animal) peeking out from under. a leaf spinning
on a web, simple in the air, even among those bees, so many
on the blue flowers, behind them, over the light (and hairy) moss. on
a shining rock, ants astride the path, the hose, the seeing that occurs
(because I’m here. because birds’ voices travel) in the always accidental
discovery (the bee that has discovered me). gooseberry? mountain
mahogany? voices out and up behind them? most likely not


if there’s a distinctive
pattern, the olive-glossiness
of the leaves (and the sun’s
reflection in them, in
the afternoon), the reasons
why I chose you (beautiful
one), and (emotional) being
charged. the aspect of
(the skin, the leaves)
the changing day, the passing
cars, the where in the afternoon

If anyone is to ask

we cross a road, we cross a street, we’ve been let
out of doors and are happy enough--can anyone tell
(tell me, tell me not to go alone, to keep my hands
ready) where? it all sounds like something alive, the trees
and the cat and the breeze, and already the leaves
(that we would like to eat) are drooping, folding in
the failed outdoors, the day that begins in a mist settled
under the high sun. the vibrations of the building
(a distant croak? an outside beetle) near the back
of my neck, which feels rough. what we want to know
is who to ask, a soothing way to a (single) answer, not bursting
up into the sky or rattling the tops off the fence posts to be
for longing, for a generous fund, forgotten in the low bushes
(re-released, scratched out), only by the bird (whose face
we recognize, who has come home many times, with its small
head). the mistakes can come (we don’t want left, we want
to crease them over, fold into the perfect five-pointed-star
of ideal angled beauty) and circle the puddle around the drain
if they’ll ask them to you, your name, your work, how often
we may visit the future, if invited, already, to fill those gaps

[“If anyone is to ask” first appeared in WE ARE SO HAPPY TO KNOW SOMETHING 2 (2011)]


Genevieve Kaplan lives and writes in Southern California. Her book, In the ice house, won the A Room of Her Own Foundation To the Lighthouse poetry prize and is available from Red Hen Press. Please visit her online at The Forest and The Trees.

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