Sally Delehant is a graduate of St. Mary's College of California's MFA program. Some of her work can be found in Calaveras, Columbia Poetry Review, Catch Up: Emerging Writers Issue, ONandOnScreen, Phantom Limb, and iO: A Journal of New American Poetry. Her first book of poems, A Real Time of It will be published by The Cultural Society in summer 2012. She lives in Chicago.
It's Always Something
Yesterday the wind took our picture
off the wall over the piano; birds chirped
their curt symphonies in the box elder. I thought
of you, your obvious loveliness, your obliviousness
to lost things. An ambulance blinks two lanes over,
a restaurant goes under, your little niece kicks off her shoe.
We pantomime infatuations, put on scarves.
You'll never again speak to your father. What was
once my knee in a theater is tired eyes at a kitchen sink;
we fall into us. A squirrel upsets the feeder, hangs by one leg
and reaches. (Even my feet are angry.) You tromp in
muddy leaves, test the alarm, whisper lub-dub.
Silvered streets gird our apartment. I fasten
my parka to leave. Everywhere muck, newspapers,
a blanket— our neighbor in flip-flops has forgotten her key.
I daydream the ocean, your hand on my ankle.
I'll walk without stopping, won't care if I ever do. The wind can whip
its wants, can rattle each thing, rip roofs from shingles
at angles. I'll think of you— forgetting
which switch is a light and which the disposal,
climbing on my back at a carnival, quieting
after pendulum hung work days. The streetlights
have been on for an hour. Nothing will let me come to you.
Beach grass spears ankles
as we gallop beneath the sun.
Tossed, oceans underflowed,
we plow in our lost hour.
Loosed ticking finds time,
beading's collected water.
Stumped, particles of us
in sand, wrecked debris washed
up. It's possible to gather
if shattered. It's dependable
to falter if filled. Bugs in ships—
shoes run, unfetter, fling and fall.
Termites— terminus reverie
litter our rocked ceremony.
Love the sea's small papers
we crumple and throw. One mussel
cuddles concentration's corner.
Hermit shells scatter the beach;
the ebb is lonely and full.
The world never ends, shuffles this clutter:
a tractor of a man, naked except for socks,
surfs my channels, eyes to the ceiling, his swirling
red dots. The everyday we spoke of— hearts
adorned with habit's form. Touched
into a puddle of pantyhose, stretched
between forever and the stove, my grandmother's
knuckles, my father's jumper cables in the rain.
Let's blow them out, smirking statue— pluck
petals from my embered plate. This, our never was,
our begin again, ate coats from the hall closet,
mopped us, two pennies— head and tail up.