Poetry  April 2013 | issue 448

Twenty-Five O’Clock

by Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson’s most recent poetry collection is The Twins. He lives with his wife in Statesboro, Georgia, where their backyard chickens keep him well supplied with eggs and inspiration.

In this saved hour I want to praise
The otherworldly feel of it —
As if physics and gravity were a phase
Outgrown and now, at last, what we suspected
Was possible is possible, the future behind us.
In this gifted time it’s fine to talk about the slow
Moon hanging in a tree like a paper lantern,
Air crisp as snapped fingers. Whatever comes next
Makes sense, like sleeping on the ocean, nothing
Sounder or stranger than water holding you up.
This hour is not extra loneliness, more reasons to die.
Not another love lost to the brutal swamp.
The world is not too good for us, nor we for it.
A saxophone and a woman’s laughter flirt
In a window high above the street, the day pulling
Gray blankets to its chin. Rain rises and wind sweeps
Bills from the table like confetti. This bestowed hour
I speak a language I don’t understand, live again
Without minding the mistakes. The hole
In my sleeve disappears. And everything up it.



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