Early morning winds vibrate
a corn field outside. The window drapes
fold me in a familiar light of this Indiana town,
as the landscape of a man & I, naked
& whorled from the other, are still in bed.
A shadow growing large from impending sun.
Not to touch me, as if controlling
the machinery in the factory where he works,
but a different allowance of body—
where we touch & respond. Pull close
& hold. What we have allowed ourselves
this morning is spine-greed, metal shards,
upright bricks, followed by rail-line
exits. He gets up—must go to work.
This is the man some boys here grow up to be.
I don’t know it then when I kiss him—
for the last time—I kiss nothing.
Once, I thought the body was a house
to keep all things. Still, through small efforts,
it operates without even trying.
A house I learned through discovering
why he could never have me—I let him go,
because I had to work too. But for a small time,
we didn’t care what came after. How can I
chance his elegy without risking more loss?
I think I could still love him now,
the man, as he comes back to my bedroom
from work. Touches me with mechanical
strength. Takes me to a time before steel,
before locomotive cars, before all the Ball-Jars,
when this bed would have stood on nothing
but wet grass, or maybe even more field.
Here he can finally say let me begin again.
Let me begin again—the landscape
my memory creates of him collapses
into a torn-down factory’s deserted frame.
There the machine was once an extension
of the boy, an extension of the man,
an extension of me. & even as I remember that,
under the fallen bricks—exists the end
of our undoing, which will be more memory.
More light & always more shadow.
There are stories of people lost in the corn—
what can I do about that? I want to hold on
to each horizons unburdened stretch. I want
to not grow eye-sick of ruin. Haven’t we all stood
at the threshold of a field, trying to see through
its thrashing? We surrender. We go in searching.