Today's poem is by Jonathan Johnson

She of Tioga Creek

Marsh went mostly unnoticed then,
and the sun's tremolo through spruce shadows
was just the context our desire used for
your feet on the dash, and the outpost houses
with their dead Chevys were mere residences
for the dusk behind what we decided to say,
and we were never the land we imagined ourselves,
so there's nothing of us to notice now, as I pass.
Not even in the roadside park where we pulled off
and walked the creek up to a dark we used
to unfasten each other from weeks of expectation
in so many other grasses under your back
and where I held the source of your true voice
that, soft, almost mourning, was also the delicate water
inches from your hair where I don't stop
but drive by, past more bleached, dead cedars
we must have passed when we got back on the road
but wouldn't have seen in the night beyond our headlights'

Copyright © 2009 Jonathan Johnson All rights reserved
from In the Land We Imagined Ourselves
Carnegie Mellon University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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