A rusted-out skiff. A hollow shell still ringing with ocean for the sand
to overtake. Uncertain in all but this one thing
we join the children spinning about like weathervanes waiting for
a clearer course, a more definite shape
to pour our shapes into. Like spiders climbing their silk lines,
kites paralyze & swallow the sky.
Gossamer horizon. The trees are less dense with their colors
than last year. Still, what might be called splendor.
Or slippage. Through slight gaps in our fingers, we watch
a gathering sky. Storm enough
to skin the trees, to wrap our legs around & say nothing
makes it out of this alive, at least unchanged.
& then the three-day drive home to where there is no ocean.
No current, erasure. & then another year twining
memories around a narrative. Things we didn’t know we had lost
washing back out so we can start over again.
Filed under: Poetry
John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. A nineteen-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.