A Note on Form

Never having lived
among things, but beside
forms of things, I no longer
look where the city lifts a little
further, past houses, oceans,
light from a crane, breathing,
no longer looking the child
hurried beside a mother moving
too, too fast at what escapes
the grasp of leaves & awnings
of leaves, past what is lifted
up, whatever word lifted from
whatever throat it’s lodged—
there being only one throat
between us—past perception,
(anything but arrangement)
& nevertheless perceiving,
as we must, what moves between
us, quickening, no longer a roof,
but atmosphere, precursor
& remnant of speech, remaining,
as it must, perhaps, the least
effective of our music

Originally published in The Adroit Journal (Issue 34, 2020). Copyright © 2020 by Jos Charles. Used with the permission of the poet.