Fall 2016 / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2016 / Volume 47

Signals/Bottles–John Thornburg

for Carol

when you go, leave the stones unturned and stoic on the lawn
laugh the leaves dry and tune to stars obscured by snow, no sibylline
parallax interests me anyway, no cairn can lure me into the woods this time
except maybe the scent of gin, the silhouette of a hawk on a fencepost,
a flash of hazel between reeds.
no youth to cling to but the sound of tossing and turning

even a glimpse and you can’t unlook, taking shape, given form
a vapor map of the lower forty-eight, this coward’s frame cropped
to a thousand blackbirds rushing from power lines over a truck stop
lean in and kiss this ground, cold and snowless
leave it behind with the others
this run of stones, this way of false seasons

where were you when you discovered that time had driven
all the flicker from your eyes

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