Once there was this kid in the front row
Raising his hand as though he would turn
Into a ball of light and vanish if he didn’t
Answer the question the teacher was asking.
I was convinced I’d grow up to be a samurai
Back then, so I didn’t understand a word,
But before the kid could answer, another
Kid boxed the ears of another kid and it
Was chaos in the way nature is a chaos.
The rain has been lying to the sun again.
And heaven loves knives. Bathe in the dust.
Flocks of surprise descend from on high.
Grass flourishes between the words where
Sorrow is isosceles and red goes black very
Quickly in the light that increases the light.
When I quit smoking, I became scared to fly.
Needles tack in their gauges to extremes.
The sun keeps us. Infinities are a poker face
Hidden in this moment. We read a line of life
And we twitch in an iron dream that remains
Blinded by the shadows of their referent stars.
Words are drawings that will be missed
And this guy won’t answer the waitress when
She puts his order in the computer and asks
Him how many eggs he wants – he keeps
Saying: Look, just tell them it’s for Tim.
Absence affects sleep and hands bloom
In a desert in me. I kiss the voice I hear
And pick flowers from my veins.
Fog is writing a world inside a word.
Bones cannot hide their light. The original
Road runs ahead collapsing into nightfall.
Before my memory leaves,
I would like to say, one late
Summer afternoon, daylight
Was at its peak intensity,
The lights were off inside,
Everywhere, then through
The windows, the light made
Its own light in the absence
Of light, and an effect, quite
Real, grand and ineffable –
As precisely inscrutable
As the present moment
And as quickeningly sublime –
Raked through the room.
I stood there a long time,
Alone, and had to live
With a distinct feeling,
Radiating from the condition,
Something complete had been
Filed with the terrible library
Of dreams and experience
That were about to begin.
Image © Takuma Nakagawa
These poems are taken from A Better Place Is Hard to Find by Aaron Fagan, forthcoming from The Song Cave.