stephen hemenway

[three poems]

 

a tiny watch across my chest

fingerwidth by fingerwidth

the new weight

 

•

 

clocks stretched to calendars

scratched days on the cell wall

 

a woman who warms soup for her grandchildren at noon

shuffling a walker in her kitchen

her insulin needle pointed to the hour

 

in the margins

our pulse

hair that falls and grows

a scalp-clock

 

autumn a pause

then gone

the plum that blooms and greens

undressing

 

up down across

the cogs of trains turn and schedule

so much water to drink

rain to come

 

•

 

over a multiplicity

I cast ballots
in brick and wood

all my hands hammering

a hand nails each nail

several blows—several hands

 

the nails bled

yellow jackets nested on the ledge

 

spent propping

my hands bolstered the sag the drop

a milipede life

 

the seventy-five year lock is stuck

 

•

 

daily.

 

comb your thoughts.

 

shave your breath.

 

swallow the blanket.

 

shovel indigo.

 

 

- - -

 

 

A Stop Under the Stars

 

 

soft mouse between electric tracks

we travelers wait

 

soft feet soft grays

we scurry

 

undulation of skin

we are soft and vagabonds

 

 

 

- - -

 

a

 

•


Geometry

and potter carpenter machinist

gardener binder

 

bicycle pedals and bifocals

rattan chairs

 

the pattern

on her shoulder

 

      funny

      how the foam

      rides

      down the cup

      how she flips

      the page

 

•


Geometry

of alphabet

what you build

an unfolding of leaves

from dirt

squares

look this way

what you see

layers

of this-before-that

mist

 

•


Geometry

in mosques

ribbed and arched

cascade of light

 

      her dress blooms a Persian-carpet-Eden

 

•


Geometry

of glimpsed between

and wended

 

a view of downtown

corners of buildings

 

crooked hallway

sun at the end

the stairs in back

turn back and out

 

      a bench for two

      in the bending

 

•


b

 

•


sleep

the horizontal curl

arm under cheek

hair over silent wave

of breath

 

•


precise edge

 

of the river

that separates

the fifty-yard line

 

a square cut of hill

as my home

 

•


pointed joints

round fist

shrapnel

fast shards

at every angle

 

•


the body of

pinched fingers

 

dancer turning

on her stretched

axis

 

the foot arch

 

•


leaned-into curve

 

link

in the spun

gear-tooth

 

the shifting

circumference

of heart

of chest

 

•


minute-hand

across a circle

 

each tick

of small to large

orbit

 

moon to earth to sun

 

from work to home

 

accumulated looping

toward death

 

•


of hole

cylinder-shaped well

to fill

to fall

 

 

 

stephen hemenway, 1965-

 

 

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