by Richard Brobst
Ultimately we must learn to accept
our losses (as constellations eventually
accept their passing one
from another) in blue china,
tractor axles, hair brushes, time
scabs and heals relatively
as memory is numbed (in absolute
zero). Perhaps it is no more and no
less than the miles between
the words you have spoken
and the words left unspoken,
never to be spoken.
Never to be spoken
beyond stone and sod
and shovels rusting in rusting sheds
and all that is not concerned
with whispers and all
that our hands have touched.
And when do the voices begin to begin
(as a black hole that might draw
one in to see where one has been)
from dark rooms with clock-less corners?
And when do they begin to end
while candles flicker the absence
of breath, or the cold feels colder,
or you shake awaiting a shawl
as the sea dries in an old woman’s breast
and you know now actually and for the first
time how small time is?
The best we can hope
is nothing disturbs our death;
that it comes as clean
as a handful of ice.
Richard Brobst was co-founder and co-editor of the national poetry journal, ALBATROSS, from 1986-1998. He has had four collections of poetry published (ANABIOSIS PRESS and FORESTLAND PUBLICATIONS), along with many individual works in journals and anthologies, including THE SOUTHERN POETRY REVIEW, THE KENTUCKY REVIEW, PEMBROKE MAGAZINE, and FLORIDA IN VERSE; AN ANTHOLOGY.