BY RYANN STEVENSON
Don't tell me your name is a measure
for smallness. If you leave this way,
let it be like an accidental catnap
in the bathrobe of your love, closer than ever
to the plains’ greatness, and maybe
I will be there, holding open your loneliness
like a door. And unlike those blazing lanterns
set windward on the big sky
of your affliction, bound by the arms of night,
I will never unlive you. My love won’t leave
with the fabrics of the season—
an always-cloak, shrooming my shoulders.
And should you remain, I’ll never forget
the heart's preparation, this feeling,
like holding my breath at the gas pump,
gripped by the potential of our static;
how our hair stood on end at the science center,
and now we're here.
Should this life allow you to discover
a new language, one that will carry you
inside the soft vowel of your favorite collie’s
one blue eye, unbound by the arms, the night—
Ryann Stevenson's poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Atlas Review, American Letters & Commentary, Blunderbuss Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Linebreak, and Pinwheel Journal. She's the Chapbook Series Editor at Phantom Books.