Poetry  April 2013 | issue 448

Twenty-Five O’Clock

by Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson and his wife, the writer Stephanie Tames, are moving from South Georgia, where they’ve lived for twenty-six years, to Asheville, North Carolina, where they hope to live for at least twenty-six more.

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.

 

 

Personal. Political. Provocative. Ad-free. Subscribe to The Sun and save 45%.