for Dan B.
Colors will not change, still the plum-black
everything and the layers of blue and light
and white and purpled gray across the Indiana
afternoons above Rt. 26. But everything will cease
to be a summer haze from the shore of a lake.
Look: here at last is the definition of place, the sharp
curves of a woman you love and the deeper scars
scored across your kitchen floor when a man
a century ago dragged in wood to feed
a stove. If you want to know, your house is falling down
and smoking menthols on the porch in the dark
will not save it. Honestly, I had no idea
you were missing so much, what with all the precise
highway names and the way you could see behind
the backlit curtains of the houses off the road. Now,
I know, you made it all up—your children, the boy
in college who was afraid of his own skin and God,
the whole canon of Dylan you had to learn by ear
and not eye. More impressive, really. Maybe Monet
got it right. Don’t let the doctors fuck with your vision.
Love what you cannot see clearly, only the things you
imagine and the ones you brush with your hands.
David Wright teaches creative writing and American literature at Monmouth College (Illinois). His poems have appeared in Image, Ecotone, Poetry East, and Artful Dodge, among many others. In 2003, he was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for poetry. His most recent poetry collection is The Small Books of Bach (Wipf & Stock, 2014).
Photo Credit: Ryan Rickrode