Michael Rerick

from Preservation/Excavations


Rain in the morning, they say, always
before more rain. Before cereal,
they remember it’s all been eaten:
to say the kitchen door of kitchen
and imply cooking, or the storage
of storage. It is the young wonder
they want back, the dizzy white sparklers
at night, the blue hot fizz of writing
their names in the fog: impractical.
Because old rides in old herds. So they
sing the song of time passing its way
through the hot of hot days, through all the
sentimental doors knobs and door bells:
the usual twists, unusual screws.


We hurricane and landslide, feel the wave
cheer our feet as we check-point across lines
from continent to continent, your arm
slipping from mine, the question of surprise
too quick to sign or signify the gaps,

nothing present of us left but notes:



He says, I built this whale from drowned whale bone,
put stained glass windows where the eyes should be,
made the brain from a telescope mirror,
and it sails and sings daily, he says, name
hovering against relief of pages
in darker parts of the dictionary,
he says, the world has grown slick with its oil,
mouths and mouths stuffed with blubber factories
of evolved mentionables evolving
into ears, he says, this quiet kowtow
with the icon, with the light easier
and easier to touch: this is the whale I built
for you, he says, ready-made and intoned
before we ourselves could intone, he says.

Michael Rerick is a poet living in Tucson. These poems are from In Ways Impossible to Fold (March Hawk Press, 2009).

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