untitled serial poem by patrick sanders



Trace the contours of a moment,

read the   sighs.

         Hold intuitively knowing

not to read  too   quickly too


often a sigh is just a sigh.


There is no  rush with the new sun

         honeyglazing eyelids

         to the white heat of winter's

         last sigh.


its afterlife breathes in, pulling dust

to the treetops. leaflike

apparitions crest until the cold air catches –


There are many such sighs.

To assume that one would signal some end,

some permission to enjoy

those things that in their lack

we convinced ourselves useless,

is to gamble. we  wait

terminally. consequently


     By the time the contours are traced, the moment

has gone.

                  Perhaps  you are still holding when the tenderness tilts. and after

when you clutch for that strange headstatic

you find no comfort in wringing your lover.

closer. You writhe

here, wishing.          If only it were tomorrow! you long  knowing

it is too early to remember the static, too late

to be intoxicated  any more

under its influence.




as if we live our own seasons

when we love. winter's charm

wears thin around its edges.

wonderfully articulate silences

between two parties

don't make the same

sense. between

the two seasons of a moment

there is silence. you feel claustrophobic

because you are now so with yourself

that you have forgotten you are still holding

someone that is not yourself. so much

that sweat lines where your bodies meet

and you are both appropriately embarrassed.

you have forgotten about the sigh wondering

if you should fill the silence whose presence

you now question. it is now a presence.

it is shadowed and its shadow weighs.

you are now so yourself

and this is not what you wanted. it is what you wanted

to escape. you want to escape. you wanted to escape

seeing everything's shadow and this is not what you wanted.

you fear you have forgotten the contours. worse you fear

you have mistraced them. the sun has gone down and you fear

you have wasted it. worse you fear there is nothing to keep your eyes

closed.   your cold skin  tells you the air has not caught its last wind and finally your lover asks you Shall we go inside? and you have forgotten everything's shadow and gotten some   glimpse

of bare desire to not be only yourself. you remind yourself not to make a shadow of this as the cold air reminds you where you have held.



you concoct a mythos that is half asleep. probably

you can't see the ghosts from out the window tonight.

still you swear the dust in daylight looks just like leaves.

in your head at least. your lover entertains this and suggests

that the moon is why you are both restless. it waxes night

after night and each time appears full. they insist that

it puts on this show each time the clouds disappear

to make way for spring. this is much more sensible

than your theory of dust apparitions,

but you do not make this known. together you map out:


SPRING comes with the final sigh of winter. after

the final sigh of winter. is the inhalation. is the breathing-in

that draws the thawing trodden leaves from their restingplace

to the bare branches on which they were born.

momentarily. they are ghosts now. they are dust.

this is spring's promise. it is unclear whether this

is a promise to the trees or to the leaves.


SPRING comes with the clearing of the sky. after

the clearing of the sky. is the moon in the cloudless sky.

is signaled by as much. is the performance of a moon

that never wanes but remains steadfast in its duty to carry

distant light to us. seeing as though we are on the crust

of a star ourselves. a star that has lost its light. it doubles

down on its efforts. this is spring's promise. it is quite clear

that this is a promise to us.




despite fear you remember this

and work backwards. it is tomorrow,

but you have forgotten

that you had longed for tomorrow.

you still lie next to your lover.

they are in a restless morning sleep

so you do not move. the shadow

crosses you only as the shadow of

pleasure. the fear punctuating desire.

trying to sully it. you remember it

as passing. in the embrace of the

recurring static you do not move

and so fall back again. through the

squint of a shadow the sun paints

white your eyelids and you wake.

you have never been so aware

of your wrinkled clothing.

your lover is patting yesterday

from goodwill rags now looking

out the window. You were right

about the dust, they say and you

rise to see. your vision fixes

on the falling moon now pale, hanging

there to be seen. Oh, they say,

You've just missed it. What luck!

and you mention the moon at least

makes up for this absence.

but there is no moon and it is midday.

and there is no dust in the still air.

and there is no spring   yet.

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