G.C. Waldrep


Space like a church yet rounder, to enclose it casts a certain fractal grace

as if the staff of that music, red-shifted, had dropped
just into the range of our hearing,
or partly so. The syncopation is a simple one,

mensuration canon through which
snow falls, expanded or compressed, the stiff needles of the jack pines

and the sky

in its constituent chemistries arriving now
through the cold of that long night.
If one accepts this body

as a globe rather than a point in a grander showing
(aspiring to lift off from this earth
or inscribing a larger motion)

—that is, more axial and pierced along the spine of its intent,

possibilities for completion seem less exclusive.
Mastery of the instrument, yes; two hands may seem four.
Meanwhile the canon

evolves another signature, another vivid waiting
through which a scale may be shot
—D major, say—

as silk or as the words
we use to greet each other astride the yard-ice,
spare in their quick warmth.
That a day could be the tense of its unmaking is a second-hand wonder.
The phrase of it breaking before us, almost a language
overheard, syllable caught
between tooth and lip at the moment of waking:


the light fetching down from a place that may no longer be there.