Something Unfolds In The Distance
from Alchemy and Atrophy by Tim Lockridge
Some days you say the word meadow
and the meadow is not actually
a meadow but the memory of someone
you haven’t heard from in years and now
her voice unwinds in your answering
machine. And her voice is a nest
of poppy seeds and her words are pollen
and you realize this when the sun splits
the window and you only want to fold
your hands and let doves loose in the snow.
And your hands are sidewalks that miss
the kiss of her skirt-hem each morning
and you imagine a city block, her daily
walk: cafe, newsstand, parking meter.
And there’s a lull in her speech, a pause
in her plea and here you build a new
rendition of the past: untilled fields
and buildings unbuckling. You consider
confession, maybe admit your heart
is a plastic bag and your desire a streetlight.
Or is your desire the autobahn? No
matter. You erase the message and spin
dials on the stove, bring water to boil.
Your mind is clover covered, your thoughts
are worn fence posts—your desire:
long mornings that sink into noon.
First appeared in Mid-American Review, Vol. XXIX, No. 2 (Spring 2009).
Tim Lockridge’s poetry has recently appeared in Passages North, DIAGRAM, The Cimarron Review, and many other literary journals. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.