19 August 2019

I meant to close the window, a poem by Virginia Smith Rice

Where are those terror
ful nights we suffered
as children? Look in
boxes under the eaves,
unless attics have also
fallen away, like child-
tiny rooms crowded
with headlights that
slip over walls, square-
split by branches and
sirens. I can tell you
how it was, so yes, god
needs me (I will fast
asleep, packed into this
narrow world) but is it
enough? I ask him
for sight and he gives
me his. I ask for teeth
and he brings them
all. I am rich with small
sharp, stones sprouting
along, shoulders, arms,
seaming each finger. I
ask him to come near,
come nearer, for a glass
of water, the rest of his
breath. I ask for all one
can give to another,
a click in another's dark.

This poem was originally published by Storm Cellar Quarterly and is in the chapbook Whose House, Whose Playroom by Virginia Smith Rice.

Virginia Smith Rice

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