James Harms
POETICS
 
You the Overheard

Still striking the hard horizon, the storm

sparks and sizzles, the smell of lead and wet wire.

First sails appear like handkerchiefs sopping up the bay

and someone speaks through the window of wet

afternoon air: “Just look at that.”

The bluff above the sea. The white Adirondack chairs.

Someone says: “It’s like an anvil, God’s hammer.”

The outdoor bar unrolls its awning.

Wine and a bowl of olives, your sister’s trick:

a sevillano on each finger, pimentos scattered

in the grass. The wet grass. The chairs bubbling with rain.

“I’m not sure I can stand here forever,” someone says.

“So sit.” The bell of crystal touching crystal.

No whales in this weather, though that’s why

we’ve come. “God’s hammer,” he says again.

The storm pulses, a gray heart shot through with light.

She says, “The chairs are wet, this skirt is linen.” And you,

overheard: I’d like it to stop; if it would all please stop,

though you’re watching the sails, all this evidence of joy.

You’ve dropped your wineglass in the grass.


TOP