Easy Listening

by Katie Naughton


Movement of locust leaves movement

of air moving the leaves a breath a flight

fluid above it quick hinge of wing gliding

starling before the stars the late light

of May time a breath a movement

the air around the legs mine I will

place myself here in this time

of hazed bluing gold light a sound

a movement the muscle my leg makes

a strength out and out across

the street in front of the house this evening




I’m telling you the color of the light in the hills

at the end of the day when it’s warm

has rained I’m saying the words wax begonia




all night on the edge of sound

everyone else is inside of




it’s six hundred dollars

to fly across an ocean

I’m waiting

something changes & I don’t know it




it’s the detail of when the sun is setting

it’s the lilac white and purple

it’s the red of the small house

the vertical boards the rise

of their ribs from the surface




in bed the world contracts

to your exhausted eye


a last time

for me


again and again

named a last time

into what

I don’t know




things being what they are




a coin the state made flat and concrete

listening at the window

gold and shining

the hours of the buildings

the small lamps in the windows

the pushcarts of newspapers

children and their parents




I could believe in what is real

as the reflective surface

cutting the kitchen in half

reaching into its milky replication

the sink the oven a family

is as simple as this a child

a window opened again

as simple as this a family




as though the sun’s daily metaphor

across the sky were not ecstatic transport

return return return return return

it’s only ever always space and time




throwing my shoulder forward

recognition of the jaw held fast

in the mouth in the middle of the night

sound before phoneme before meaning

body of voice thrown into sound

by what breath   age’s gravel

the only mark of unendingness we have

the refusal to stop until stopped




peony geranium a terrace &

the water voices coming across

exhaustion’s baffle and mostly

otherwise silence I’m told

there’s some feeling doesn’t need

to be fixed – hours on the shore

diesel boat engine roars

louder than the ear




the sun tonight setting after

eleven as far north as we’ll go

a few weeks until midsomar

we’ll be married we’ll save flowers

we’ll give what we’re given to

everyone the sun spreads

into a crown a flaring

a made place at the edge

of the water and sky


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