CL Bledsoe is the author of two poetry collections, _____(Want/Need) and Anthem. A third collection, Riceland, is forthcoming later this year. A chapbook, Goodbye to Noise, is available online at righthandpointing.com/bledsoe. A minichap, Texas, is forthcoming from mud luscious press. His story, “Leaving the Garden,&rdquo was selected as a Notable Story of 2008 for storySouth’s Million Writers Award. He is an editor for Ghoti Magazine. He blogs at Murder Your Darlings.
From the back door, see that the storm is alive, lightning
like spider legs strokes the tops of trees leaving strings
of wind to tangle in their leaves. You can taste
the silk of tomorrow’s obligations likewise ensnaring
your thoughts. Don’t ask why or where or anything
that might be heard and _____(ignored/acted upon)
unless you’re sure your soul is clean enough to take
the answer. Night birds chatter, smelling the cool rain
coming, but your eyes are as empty as your expectations.
Welcome to 11:30, Son. Welcome to Come to Bed, It’s Late.
There is no spider in the sky, never was; you are not tired, but
it’s time to go up, anyway. Remember
there’s more than warmth waiting upstairs.
But let us savor the taste of cold coming on the breeze
like liquor after a hard job. Days were long enough to get
things done, what there was to do, then. But Can’t
never got nothing done, though nothing is what needs
to be done, sometimes. Understand, the hot need of early
morning fades usually after the first piss. This does not mean
you’re incapable of love; it means you’re alive, safe
as a hamster, smug as Sunday pancakes. Learn to slow
time or _____ or enjoy the tapping on the roof when it
comes: Son, the rain spiders want in, too. That’s all.
They are not in your head, but they could be, if that’s
the only way in. Argument ad populum: it means wear
white, something borrowed-it means learn to laugh with,
not at. It means close the door, cut the lights, ascend, my son,
ascend into the warmth; you’ve tasted the cold. It sticks
but doesn’t bind.