takes as much space as
n O thing
you say I don’t hear you
but that’s because I’m
listening so hard to all the
you don’t say
like that maybe we both realize that you don’t need it as much as I do
you made me a promise once
and now you don’t keep it —
not because you can’t
but because it doesn’t occur to you
I will not take up only the amount of space
you have apportioned for me
I will not lower my voice, nor
I will not trade “let’s do this” for “it can’t be done.”
I read back over seven years of a journal
and I sound like such a child.
I should just burn the whole thing.
In fact, I think I will.
Sometimes I’d like to start
They were having some silly argument, he couldn’t even tell you what it was about, but then he asked, “but you tell me everything, don’t you?” and she laughed. And he said “don’t you?” And she said “no” And she laughed again. And then he said “half?” And she laughed again and shook her head, just slightly, and he said, “25%?” And she said “10. Maybe. Probably. Yeah, 10.” And he said “but why don’t you tell me everything?” and she said “you couldn’t handle it.” He remembered that part.
You make the past mean something different
by what you make of what comes after.
The clouds billowed toward me,
tumultuously, lugubrious, if such a thing is possible,
like the roil of boiling water
viewed in slow motion.
I pedalled determinedly,
the bag of blueberies
knocking against my knee
marking the seconds
between strobe flash and resultant
When I returned
dry and winded
we leaned in the landing window
shoulder to shoulder hip to hip
and felt the house exhale
as drops of rain
rattled like stones on the driveway.
by Constance Merritt
awake at 4 a.m.
whatever the space beside you holds
you are yourself alone
and whatever there is of truth
turning in crevices light can’t touch
it must be that which wakes you
in a quiet room a woman works
arranging words, a world
where she might live
it changes little day to day
but the mind is changed
as light changes, as the leaves turn
and whatever holds that space inside her
it is so much harder, vaster, colder
than this near mortal, however breathing,