Living in Lines He Carries Nothing


Living in Lines He Carries Nothing

The man you knew is fading,
withdrawing into memory’s
specimen jar. A fatal flower. One
dried scorpion. Another late glass
of pinot. He carries nothing with him
but words. Living in lines on the page,
he listens to the sotol stalks rasping
sad farewells at night, their peace
interrupted by cicadas droning in
the trees. He wants to be seen
before he dies. Thinking hurts, he says.
I depend on pain that won’t vanish
or forget its purpose. I do not want.




“Living in Lines He Carries Nothing” was published in fall 2019 in the print anthology Through Layered Limestone: A Texas Hill Country Anthology of Place. I am grateful to editors d. ellis phelps, Lucy Griffith, Darlene Logan, Donna Peacock and Mobi Warren for taking this and three other pieces.




16 thoughts on “Living in Lines He Carries Nothing

  1. This stirs up my sense of human-space connection – there are a few places from my much-younger years that I suspect recognize me as I recognize them on the rare visits. A permanent connection even while apart. This also stirs curiosity about pain as valuable – pain that won’t “forget its purpose” – a reminder to listen to my aches for whatever they’re diligently trying to convey (the ouch may be worse than physical?)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kind of romantic in the existential sense… “For if it is rash to walk into a lion’s den unarmed, rash to navigate the Atlantic in a rowing boat, rash to stand on one foot on the top of St Paul’s, it is still more rash to go home alone with a poet” – Virginia Woolf.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about the fadeout, how we gradually get erased. My father’s slowly heading over the edge, and I keep flashing back to our lives together when he was in his heyday. So many people (and places) have disappeared.

    Liked by 1 person

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