Robert Marshall, “Car Window 30” (2017), UV curable ink on mirrored Dibond, 15 x 20 in (image courtesy the artist)

That I Saw the Light on Nonotuck Avenue

That every musical note is a flame, native in its own tongue.

That between bread and ash there is fire.

That the day swells and crests.

That I found myself born into it with sirens and trucks going by
out here in a poem.

That there are other things that go into poems like the pigeon,
cobalt, dirty windows, sun.

That I have seen skin in marble, eye in stone.

That the information I carry is mostly bacterial.

That I am a host.

That the ghost of the text is unknown.

That I live near an Air Force base and the sound in the sky is death.

That sound like old poetry can kill us.

That there are small things in the poem: paper clips, gauze, tater
tots, and knives.

That there can also be emptiness fanning out into breakfast rolls,
macadam, stars.

That I am hungry.

That I seek knowledge of the ancient sycamore that also lives in
the valley where I live.

That I call to it.

That there are airships overhead.

That I live alone in my head out here in a poem near a magical
tree.

That I saw the light on Nonotuck Avenue and heard the cry of a
dove recede into a rustle.

That its cry was quiet light falling into a coffin.

That it altered me.

That today the river is a camera obscura, bending trees.

That I sing this of metallic shimmer, sing the sky, the song, all of
it and wonder if I am dying would you come back for me?

*   *   *

Peter Gizzi is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently, Archeophonics (finalist for the 2016 National Book Award), In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems 1987-2011, and Threshold Songs. Just out from The Brother in Elysium is a small book entitled, New Poems. For more info visit petergizzi.org.

Readers are encouraged to submit 3–5 poems as a PDF to Wendy Xu for consideration at poetry@hyperallergic.com.

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