BARELY MORNING & THE MEN
already scaling that roofline, their voices
distinctly like a word. They'll be aloft
& keeps rising, which won't be anything
hours of more bend & haul, swelter—
they're all balance, poised on beams laid
beautiful, hardness, their sharp edges &
slope & sheathing, every valley, those hips
A KIND OF STUTTER, THAT OVER &
over, that sometime-sound between
even the walls of our quiet
Like repeating. Like pulse.
I thought arson, a word I'd never
until not a word & you here, you
could help me burn off everything.
flowers my mother would snip off
tumblers where they'd lean
my little boy being pulled from me,
my ribs, & how he's still there still,
Because I don't know what to call
up, be gone, then the skies would cover
would turn to a kind of stone—
our mouths—& how days,
A remarkable phrase: the anatomy of a roof. A remarkable name: Eyjafjallajökull. A dear friend long ago roofed houses, years later practiced the pronounciation of that Icelandic wonder until he got it absolutely right. I was thinking, in part, of him when I wrote each of these. I was thinking about what things are called and how to say their names, and how sometimes we can study a whole new vocabulary and still not know how to say something.