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01-22-2019

Blas Falconer

A Love Poem

 

I fell asleep to the sound of water moving in the dark.

 

In the morning, the river, what was left of the snow, filled the window in my hotel room, rushing faster than I’d imagined.

 

To be here, among the foothills, and not there was like wanting, all at once, to hold the same stone in each hand.

 

And all at once, there was a center where there hadn’t been, the way there seems a center in a field where crows roost in winter.

 

Call it clarity, or the footing a fisherman finds on the bank, whipping his line in the air above his head.

 

What I wanted was not possible: After the birds have gone, the great nests of leaves and limbs high among leaves and limbs.

 

He catches the fish he’s wanted all day, pulls the hook from its mouth, and lets it go.

 

Which I must remember and remember to tell you.

 

Amor Fati

 

We wrestled in


the basement, drunk,

 

my head pressed

hard into the coarse,

 

blue rug, windows dark.

Upstairs,

 

my mother stood

at the stove. Soon,

 

my body seemed

to say, turning

 

under you. It was

1986: the fire

 

at Dupont Plaza, the

Human

 

Immunodeficiency

Virus, the

 

Challenger falling in

pieces over

 

the Atlantic. You

pinned me

 

there, bent

so close, I thought

 

we might

kiss, your shirt

 

stretched by

my long pull,

 

and I held on

with both fists.

Study of Boy and Ocean

 

The boy on the boat holds one foot

         over the water, certain it

will lift him up—

 

                      not to test so much

         as to draw the spirit, housed

in the body, out. When Peter fell

 

          into the sea, what made

him doubt? Grace

                        can only enter where

 

there’s a void

            to receive it, says

Weil, and it

 

                        is grace which makes

this void—the sun

                                       so bright

 

when you sink, you can’t

see where to go,

                            and going down

 

                         becomes another way.

-from Forgive This Body This Failure, Four Way Books 2018, selected by POW Spring 2019 Guest Editor, Vandana Khanna

PROMPT: As in Blas Falconer's "Amor Fati," explore a childhood memory that nags at you, an instance from your younger life that at the time might not have seemed significant but, in retrospect, shaped who you are today. Keep the poem short and to the point. Use short lines, internal rhyme, and imagery that places the reader in space and time. As always, have fun.

BIO: Blas Falconer is the author of Forgive the Body This Failure, The Foundling Wheel and A Question of Gravity and Light as well as the co-editor of two anthologies, Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets and The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity. The recipient of a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets and Writers, he teaches in San Diego State University’s MFA program. Read more at https://blasfalconer.com.