At the Sound, the rocks were gray.
The rocks were gray against the water.
Rose quartz filled the yards, at dusk.
The needles rose and fell in the firs.
The noises from inside stayed quiet,
Music and steam. A brindle pit bull
Gave up barking, far away.
A hammer lay beneath the bed.
From Traci Brimhall’s “The Unverifiable Resurrection of Adão da Barco,” a poem in the current issue:
First, a tourist finds a poem in the leper colony,
carved in a kapok, ants swarming sap in the cuts.
Then a fisherman uncovers instructions for a rain dance,
an usher discovers recipes for the jubilee.
A riverboat captain comes to town and leads them
to a tree in the north describing the mating habits
of the marabunta, to one in the south with an ode to plums.
At twenty-four frames per second, sixty seconds is two hundred
feet of film you’ll never see: Christopher Reeve
ready to become mild-mannered Clark Kent—sharp
trilby and blue chalk-pinstripe suit—
once they call Action, the Who-me smile fading
to bit-lip circumspection, cover story and secret,
hand on the button-down’s placket, ready to pull
the buttons from their eyes, peel
the rough-hewn cotton from the ancient crest, the S
Water turns everything into a jewel
then puts a metal taste in the mouth
slowly replaced by dust. Which is why standing
in the rainy street you feel much richer than you are. Or, aware that everything will dry, much poorer.
You feel that way anyway in New York, and a little lost,
but let’s be honest, that’s what you want, to hide,
and like an owl, you’ve retreated not to high branches
but an anonymous skyrise.