I think I signed a contract to this dark. Parked
a car at the spring’s edge and prayed
true to it. Blue bed, white toilet seat.
I had a student write that winter wasted her.
Her mind a pillow of pronouns I gripped so hard
it inflated with a pop. A Pontiac
that I was driving wrong. The plop of soap
as the book on tape ends again, foam running white
where water later throngs. Cold armistice of May
which met me at the edge of her first song
wove of itself a longer year than I
would ever want. If I was wrong
to wrestle an obedience from the tube
of melted chapstick, mangled pink sand castle
where lotion should have been, and put the thing
I’d molded to my lip, then I was wrong
to claim I’d wring of any year a song.
It’s summer now, three cuts over James’s eye
as peanut butter slits my ice cream bar,
his skin a sweetly rusting sauna sky,
the white dog hacking algae in the yard,
the breakfast tray stained red with moldy berries,
and a pair of parakeet-shaped salad tongs:
the year rips in from on. The light lifts late
across the rental pond, withholding dark
from dark and lifting currants into season,
raising a pearl of harder water from
the furrow winter frowned into the yard.
The year was nothing; we did fuck a lot
but not enough for him. I have been taught
to bear the autumn toward him in my arms
Hannah Loeb is a poet and teacher who lives in Bellevue, Idaho. She earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2015, and her work has appeared in Prodigal, Ninth Letter, American Chordata, and Sequestrum.