In the Little Book of Guesses

John Gallaher
I’ll make you up from out 
of the living rooms we face, 
equal parts singing gate 

and people we knew once,  
in biographical order.  Equal lengths 

investiture, and the sun came out 
and it was bright in my eyes.  

The room is dark behind 
the flaring particles.  The day 
is twenty years ago 

and Tuesday.  I did not mean 
to leave us there with nothing, 

as I was saying car rides  
for wonderful.  It hardly matters.  Unequal parts 
wanting to mean something 

and frosted glass.  Whose cigarette 
in the plaid ashtray?  

Whose clothes on the coffee table 
as the dog begins to bark?  

The black dog out in whatever yard, 
barking off and on 

the rest of our lives.

From The Little Book of Guesses by John Gallaher. Copyright © 2007 by John Gallaher. Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books.

John Gallaher

by this poet

There is a man, there is a woman,
and there is a child. 

Their faces too plain,
their mouths too wide.

It's a grim business.  You can feel it piling up
however quiet you refuse to be.

Watch them.

They woke up one morning
and their hands were all rubber.

"How can you hold me?"
they asked.
"How can I feel you

Now the scene changes, we say, and the next few years 
are quiet.  It’s another curse, the inverse of the “interesting times”
the Chinese were said to go on so about.  Nevertheless, there it is, 
as the emptiness needs a something in order to be defined as empty, 
which means we spend