Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Porch

Everything was preamble
to watching sunbeams
cut through hills in the distance,
ten-thousand days yellowed like a calendar
and sitting in the cortex gathering dust,
or what passes for dust in the blood.

How many highways did we hitch
in our imaginations?
How many streams did we silver
with the sheen of our skin,
clothes hanging on the oak branches of youth?
I do not know.
I do not know.

The porch sags.
Our footsteps have worn the grain
with anger and joy,
with the promise of love
or a longing to sleep
after the day has beaten us both
into bones that were crutches
for skin weighted with years.

They have been good,
and now we sit, not divided
like hills carved by the sun.
Crickets clamor some forgotten chorus
in a pitch our throats lost long ago,
when friends died
and blew away like sand.
We lean into each other,
bone to shoulder,
shoulder to bone,
needing no words.
We recite the ten thousand days
with a cadence of quiet inhalations.
Memories dovetail, and we smile.

We are the porch, my love.
We are the wood.
The seasons have watched us for many years,
and will watch us for many more.
It is not time yet
to surrender ourselves to sand.
Visitors will mistake us for museum pieces,
but we will simply smile.
As the air fades to blue,
the dust in our blood turns to iron.
Inside, our bones will dovetail
as I divide your hills like a sunbeam,
your hair falling across the pillow
and spreading out like a sail.

~William Hammett

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