Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.
[This poem is from Richard Siken’s newly published first book, Crush.
In the introduction, Louise Gluck says, “This is a book about panic.”
I like the desperation in this poem, which matches the title —
Scheherezade had to tell stories to put off her own death. This has
kind of a fuzzy haze of memory over it, and these sudden, vibrant
images, and a tinge of the surreal that I think works in making it a
story, and something difficult to hold on to.
A YEAR AGO TODAY: What the Living Do, Marie Howe