Thread

- 1971-
I lack the rigor of a lightning bolt,
the weight of an anchor. I am
frayed where it would be highly useful—
and this I feel perpetually—to make a point.
 
I think if I can concentrate I might turn sharp.
Only, I don't know how to concentrate—
I know only the look of someone concentrating,
indistinguishable from nearsightedness.

It is hard for you to be near me,
my silly intensity shuffling
all the insignia of interiority.
Knowing me never made anyone a needle.

More by Dan Chiasson

Tackle Football


Snow up to our waists and coming down still.
There was a field here once, when we began.
We marked the end zones and set up the goals.

Now nobody can even move, much less tackle.
I am Ganymede fleeing on a temple frieze.
We stand around like lovesick Neanderthals.

We’re Pompeian before Pompeii was hot.
We have the aspect of the classic dead
Or of stranded, shivering astronauts.

It was early in the era of the pause button:
We paused and paused the afternoons away
Indoors, blasting our ballistic erections

At the blurred bikinis of celebrities,
Then, splaying on the linoleum floor,
Awaited the apportioned pizza delivery.

Now, someone has paused us, or so it appears,
But they didn’t pause the snow, or the hour:
As the one gets higher, the other gets later.

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The Thread

Jamie made his landing in the world
so hard he ploughed straight back into the earth.
They caught him by the head of his one breath
and pulled him up.  They don’t know how it held.
And so today thank what higher will
brought us to here, to you and me and Russ,
the great twin-engined swaying wingspan of us 
roaring down the back of Kirrie Hill

and your two-year-old lungs somehow out-revving 
every engine in the universe.
All that trouble just to turn up the dead
was all I thought that long week.  Now the thread
is holding all of us: look at our tiny house, 
son, the white dot of your mother waving.