White noise, white light
that won’t allow a form through

beyond your face
and the back of your hand

when your voice cracks.

The bars the blinds project
against the wall
insist on their own sibilance.

This is where the poem begins:

wordless impulse
around which the room coheres.

This is what we have
to say to each other.


To listen
is to see

when the light
is a thing

felt in the ear—
it rings

you awake.

A dream’s jagged
remains, what
morning absorbs.

Light, only light,
in place of nothing
left to remember.

Cliff face
shaded in
April snow
that fell
for an hour

Off the highway
a stand of birch slants

above a vernal pool.
Sight slows to hold

flaked white
raked through

a stretched wreck of landscape.

A tree as thin
as your wrist

from the split

in a river rock.

A flag’s reflection
dents the

the debris,

mostly leaves.

When shadow
ingests shadow

and road clatter
thins into crickets.

When the notebook’s
margins are lost

and language
sprawls. When

windows turn
brown, vacant

in their glare.

I return
to my body

attached to
a long vowel

between us.

JOSEPH MASSEY is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: Areas of Fog (Shearsman, 2009), At the Point (Shearsman, 2011), To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014), and Illocality (Wave Books, 2015). He lives in Easthampton, MA.