With Summer Purpled Awe

Nawlins

With Summer Purpled Awe

1

No one wants to be forgotten
or remembered for the wrong reasons,
but how do we attain that sweet spot
between regrettable and a barred
door clanking shut? I was born in
Louisiana. What happened next
is that song living at the edge of
memory, just beyond grasp, its
lyrics gnarled and tangled in the
roots of an old cypress along a
muddy creek. Yeah, that one. I
won’t sing it in this lifetime.
That tune’s never coming back.

2

You stretch out your hands
and a reflection cuts you in half.

3

I should have grabbed you and the dog,
and headed to Texas. They’ve got hills
there that the tide won’t reach, and
trees that won’t die from salt
poisoning, whose branches
won’t be festooned with children’s
clothing and bits of people’s torn
lives, and the stench won’t linger
longer than regret and the effect
of poor choice and dumb luck.

4

There, then gone. I scream
until my voice rasps away
but you are still out there,
still floating, still afraid
and angry and beautiful, hair
forming a halo around your
face, no tears, no sound
but water lapping, and
the flies zeroing in.

5

Next time there will be no party.
I’ll wait alone to greet the rain.
The wind will scour me
as I embrace what comes.

 

“With Summer Purpled Awe” was my 28th offering for the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project last August. Many thanks to Charlotte Hamrick who sponsored and provided the title.

I’ll be reading with other Tupelo Press 30-30 alums tomorrow evening, Friday, April 15, at Malvern Books in Austin.

 

56 thoughts on “With Summer Purpled Awe

  1. “What happened next
    is that song living at the edge of
    memory, just beyond grasp, its
    lyrics gnarled and tangled in the
    roots of an old cypress along a
    muddy creek. Yeah, that one. I
    won’t sing it in this lifetime.
    That tune’s never coming back.”

    Wonderful imagery…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You stretch out your hands
    and a reflection cuts you in half.

    i couldn’t help but think of Wallace Stevens’ style in this line. it oddly reminds me of ending of Yellow Afternoon :

    But he came back as one comes back from the sun
    To lie on one’s back in the dark, close to a face
    Without eyes or mouth, that looks at one and speaks.

    the feeling is just the same for some reason, to me at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. …bits of people’s torn lives, reflection cut in half and so so much more… This is packed full of nostalgia, loss, regret and oh so much more… What more can I say… This is truly an amazing and stirring piece of writing. Blown away is my mind… Bravo…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s