by Stan Sanvel Rubin
Night trees bloom like fingers through the fog
that covers everything, that makes us swimmers
who see nothing but the occasional flashing leaves
we get glimpses of passing through what otherwise
would lack definition, like ourselves, but the trees
seem to watch us as we pass the way sentries watch,
keeping their thoughts to themselves, or alien visitors
sent to line the road for reasons we can’t understand.
Maybe they’re recording now our cautious flight
from love toward freedom or whatever waits
at the end of this dark road, if we make it there,
the house we must have left so long ago
it seems like centuries instead of days.
Too much fog, I say. Fog slips into our words
and makes each word a warp of time so we
forget what we meant when we try to speak
to one another the way we spoke before. I look toward you,
taking my eyes from the road for one risky instant
that could send us spinning off the edge
into total silence. I want to know if you know
what it is I really need to say.
You answer with the question of your breath.
Stan Sanvel Rubin’s fourth full-length collection, There. Here.,
was published by Lost Horse Press in 2013. His third, Hidden
Sequel, won the Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize. His work
has appeared in literary journals including Georgia Review,
Agni, Kenyon Review, and Poetry Northwest and most
recently in One, American Journal of Poetry, Sheila-na-gig,
Red Wheelbarrow Review, and two 2019 anthologies: the 25th
anniversary issue of Atlanta Review and For Love of Orcas.
Rubin was awarded the 2018 Vi Gale Award from Hubbub. A
retired founding director of the Rainier Writing Workshop, he
lives on the northern Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 15, Number 1
Copyright © 2020
by Leah Browning, Editor.
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Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors