A Longing for Those Who Lament

Each word is a fly    foregrounding the gap of its silence.

I scan for microscales    something

minute enough to radiate a thought that might be

flown into the carpel of snapdragon.

I can follow the minute in and out,

imagine myself at prayer in the doors of a mouth.

I can do this exercise

without itching now    time is palliative and between bells.

It is the Corpse Pose.

It is not vulnerable to crushing by gravity    well

do not think about time

or the twilights or the fore and the aft

or those orbits in feathery skirts or stemmy tiaras

witness to the gnawing, crepuscular dress

of what nears us. My space is a gown.

My space is a fancy helmet. I have chevrons.

I have the surplus of my inner hag. Her anise teeth

and oven love, her loose, wandering present.

She spars with the final leaf, which stutters on its mother tree.

She sneaks into the circus of bees

to rustle up compulsion, licks of

salt and sweetness, thick

as buffalo and mink. My space

is a ghost    superimposed

on other time a lost-and-found for atoms,

burn-off and hope,

an everlasting prologue.

Photography Credit: Jason Rice

Rebecca Reynolds has published two books of poetry; Daughter of the Hangnail (New Issues Press), which received the 1998 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and The Bovine Two-Step (New Issues Press 2002). Her poems have appeared in a number of literary magazines and online journals, including Quarterly West, Boston Review of Books, Cimmaron Review, Cerise Press, Web Conjunctions, American Letters and Commentary, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Notre Dame Review, Verse, Third Coast, and Open City. She works as a dean and part time lecturer at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.