by Jim Warner
Who we were slowly turns the color of December dusk,
after a snow squall, where the snow slowly changes to
rain, and then sleet, and then is plowed to a dirty mush
so we can hurry home to an empty house. Your name
is the hollow heeled echo across empty hardwood rooms,
size 8; dull resonance. A slight creak in the floorboard. The
unfinished basement would always flood. Blank verses.
I have a cigar box filled with paper cranes. They are
a cage for memories. They smell like connecticut
broadleaf. They smell like the eventuality of ash. Breath.
A bookmark fulcrums the uneven sides of one more
novel I cannot put down to start. I would like to spill
this cedar box with it’s red wine fingerprints into
Hunter Lake on the south end of town and pray for
sleeperless relief. I remember your baptism in the
Chenango river. There was a circle of brass you
mistook for gold. There was a halo in your throat
I mistook as faith. There was a song we each held
onto during that blizzard in December. We were alone
for Christmas. I have the hands to prove it.
Jim Warner is the Managing Editor of Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public Radio Program at Benedictine University and the author of two poetry collections Too Bad It’s Poetry and Social Studies (Paper Kite Press). His poetry has appeared in various journals including The North American Review, PANK Magazine, and Drunken Boat. Jim received his MFA at Wilkes University.