Friday, February 27, 2009

Things not given to being written


This Kind Of Certainty

Let us revisit this again: A man stands beneath
a lone windmill and takes his shirt off to scrub
away the friction of cicadas seasoned by the
burning salt of a summer sun with water that
comes up from the dark places beneath rows
of tasseled gold where this moment will come
to be lost among countless others that lose their
commonplaceness every day, but this one, for
this revisit, stands out now as she looks down
on him from a second story window veiled with
a breathless membrane that sways in the sill like
soft kitchen manners and parlor courtesies that
tenor the throat with sounds that are not words,
sounds that speak other things not given to being
written, mysteries pure and absolute like a lovebird
in a hunting dog’s mouth, red stains on white enamel,
dull and glossy so that each amplifies the other
in its purpose, and she watches him glisten against
Iowan textures of flowers that can take the heat,
a leaking faucet hoseless beside them, her hand
smoothing the side of her fair face, her lips
summoning what streams beneath the corn, and
there is a trembling of things present that come
to be pulled into a future one cannot possibly
guess at and when it comes and departs you look
down an empty road for the last time knowing
that what passed there will not come again
though you will traverse it nevertheless, again
and again, to someday arrive and settle like
smoke over an evening bridge covered over
by a tender cowling of country stars that see
the things we do and hope all things for us until
we again murmur the sounds, the familiar string
of words that say it in the only way it can be said:
This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime.

Joseph Gallo
February 21, 2009



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