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Not Blocking The Exploding

Tuesday clouds this hectic splatter, distorts
the calendar’s faith in progression, its suspicion

of narrative. There’s just this one next thing
plunked down, weighty & here, after the last

next thing burned off in mist. I say your name
out loud in the blue, in a field of fields,

in my own voice. I kept going. I teach myself
to control the forward fall. I stunning beauty

in the face of this unraveling. Sometimes
there’s a breath in the trees that crowd the lakeshore

& sometimes there’s a break in the me
I’ve sketched on the surface of the churning

waters & sunlight pours through the canopy,
those brittle leaves not blocking the exploding light.

Sometimes writing this poem means I’m losing
the other. I file a letter of acceptance. I eviscerate

the memory. I stumbling leaf freefall in November
Syracuse cold. Before clouds, a sun & from that sun

the dawn spilled everywhere & my backyard
could not contain it just as I could not contain

my backyard just as I could not contain that bird
& that bird could not contain me because

I would crush that bird if I could, pluck it
right out of the sky’s big azure eye & squeeze

until it was nothing but history in my hands,
all that frazzled flight blown off, a note referring me

back to the before that moment when I saw something
here beneath low-flying that was so much not me I reached

out & held. Before Tuesday, Monday & before Monday
a whole recitation of disappeared ephemera gone as I

outlived it. I lived it & I lived it & I lived it up.
Sometimes where do we find ourselves isn’t

a question so much as it is a heart lifted high
into the haze above our heads, as in look at this

& you tell me where I am & do you know
where I should be. Tuesday so this is my time

to blow up like a fist while the sunlight holds
back & casts judgment like shadows on scene.

All day I’ve been watching these trees, waiting
for their arms to fall & all day I’m in awe

of their dumb persistence – so sure that if
they hold something up high enough, long enough,

it will be noticed. Sometimes I drop brightness
from my branches & can only watch the fall

& can only pretend there’s an answer to get.
Sometimes I wooden trunk uprooted.

____
Nate Pritts is the author of three full-length books of poems — The Wonderfull Yeare (Cooper Dillon Books, 2010), Honorary Astronaut (Ghost Road Press, 2008) & Sensational Spectacular (BlazeVOX, 2007). Nate teaches gifted students online through Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. The founder & principal editor of H_NGM_N, find him online at http://www.natepritts.com

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