Sunday Return


The sun was out and the moon was out.

The boys were a thousand miles off.

I purchased rubber band flying machines.

I liked my body when I was alone and

I liked my body when I thought of them.

My difficult body.

 

In the photo they sent I could see the mess

in the living room, the one that I would enter

the way I might enter a messy myth,

the children butterflying in the municipal pool,

the man reciting mandolin Spanish.

In my marrow what had opened was hailstorm,

a flying branch, crushed honeysuckle.

 

The way home was five mountain ranges,

eleven states, three time zones.

The way home was a milky way of blackbirds.

The way home was strung out flares, unshoeing,

the lonely slots of Reno.

In earlier times many died crossing that distance.


Adulterations of the Inner Ear

 

A noise like crying,  a woman

in the after-midnight night, 

perhaps from the house of foreigners

perhaps stumbling southward from the 7-11

after having been shoved from a rusty Malibu

then invited back in, but it’s summer, not too hot,

so she walks, wanders, city-ward

toward screeching, wine, tangles of sleeping children.

If I had to guess I’d say she loves bangles

has had wire under her breasts for a very long time.

She knows isolated passages from Isaiah

and complicated recipes from the Himalayas.

Yes, she has given birth, but that was years ago.

The cries come from the direction of the rhododendron

where once a robin built a sturdy nest

then abandoned it after a week.

I took the desertion personally

like the dying of a neighbor’s beta

left in my care during the holiday.

How sickly still the fish in ornamental lights

until I banged the glass and he yielded

with a paltry quiver.

It would not be hard to find her, the woman.

It is a small yard with hedges in the back.

It would not be hard to find her now

that the Paradise Tavern has closed.

She is crouched like a large stone.

She has wandered east, I think,

from the state hospital when the guard

turned his eyes to dial a girl,

wandered east with purposelessness

or the purpose of a dragonfly.

Her mind is a meadow.   She wants to alight.

She is any intricacy--of mystery, of hunger.

I tire of her difficulties. The night is any night,

full of vexation, rat-like shadows, elsewhere

rhapsodies. The odor of hydrangea

fills the world.  A melange of throat noise

rises, indistinguishable as colors in the dark,

drifts, taken back into something resembling pure sound,

traffic whir and a thousand bird songs.


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Rebekah Remington was educated at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, and the University of the District of Columbia. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Smartish Pace, The Missouri Review, Ninth Letter, Hayden Ferry's Review, and elsewhere. In 2009 she received a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist award. She teaches poetry at Towson University.