by Alice Bolin
Our morning is the movement of a wound,
the trace of heartbeat I stranded under your shirt.
Afternoon, the pages of a novel sticking.
Its chapters speak step by step of attrition,
a guidebook for a bleak beatitude.
Anaphora for an afternoon:
when we rode to the country,
when we sucked rocks at the riverbed,
when a familiar gloom
creeped in under our happiness.
The dire sun curled against my limbs
and dead aspens rose like ribcages
in the mountains. Face it —
you leak dissipation on every book you pray over.
The bus stop guards the carcass
of an elementary school,
its walls and wiring gutted out.
We wait in the white dark of morning.