Nathan McClain

with a line from Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The world has been sad since Tuesday,                                           
     the radio said, and that we should expect
          rain, expect the future

of weather. My headlights went
     feeling up some lonesome back
          road I wanted to end

wrapping back towards your face
     —a window spattered with rain.
          The chimney had stopped

coughing clouds into the sky
    when our nouns married
         themselves—when hammer

took spike took hand, when brass
     trumpet took breath took
          the vibrating air.

We unpacked light we
     found lying near
          the window, looking out

at itself looking back. Looking back,
     maybe the carpet made falling
          softer on our elbows.

Looking back, maybe I was
     the mirage smoldering in sunlight,
          the city blindfolded with fog,

the sea trying to remember
     itself being beaten by your wings,
          making you the table

needing to be dusted for prints,
     the pocket watch throbbing
          like a heart—

of all we missed, we missed the heart
     as we passed silently through
          one another.





Terrance Hayes proposes in his "Imaginary Poems for the Old-Fashioned Future": "'The Short Age' followed by 'The Us Age' followed by 'The Bond Age' followed by 'The Volt (or Re-volt) Age' followed by 'Dose Ages'' 'Mile Ages' and 'Out Ages' (See appendix)" But the poems were still imaginary. This poem accepted that challenge.