poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Fixed Interval

Devin Johnston
When he turns fifteen, you'll be fifty-four.
When he turns thirty, you'll be sixty-nine.
This plain arithmetic amazes more
than miracle, the constant difference more
than mere recursion of father in son.
If you reach eighty, he'll be forty-one!

The same sun wheels around again, the dawn
drawn out and hammered thin as a copper sheet.
When he turns sixty you'll be gone.
Compacted mud, annealed by summer heat,
two ruts incise this ghost-forsaken plain
and keep their track width, never to part or meet.

Copyright © 2012 by Devin Johnston. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2012 by Devin Johnston. Used with permission of the author.

Devin Johnston

by this poet

poem
A vacant hour
before the sun—
and with it a valve's 
pneumatic hush,
the deep and nautical
clunk of wood,
chanson du ricochet
of rivet gun,
trowel tap,
and bolt drawn—

the moon sets
and water breaks.

Curled within
a warm pleroma,
playing for time,
you finally turn
and push your face
toward November's
poem
Done with mortise and tenon,
linseed oil and wax,
she stands back from the highboy
to snap a photograph with her phone,
all the while, defending a shim
to absent interlocutors
who have, admittedly, 
never seen her work	
and died three hundred years ago.