From the archives – Walking Is Good and Other Things We Tell Ourselves — Luke Evans

Walking Is Good and Other Things We Tell Ourselves

The edge of the asphalt is cracked and crumbling
where he steps on the painted white line, blessing
the wheat and thistle with outstretched palm.

Boys in a car hoot and holler, but he does not
flinch. He envisions leaping onto their trunk, ripping
the door open, and throwing each one into a tree.

A gray finch lies on the roadway. He bumps it
with his shoe. It is like a toy. Its feathers are still soft,
its eyes black with a crystal glint. There is no blood.

He stands in the archway of a mausoleum, presses his ear
to the stone door. A draft whispers secrets of the dead
to the corn spider wrapping a beetle in a silk cocoon.

He sits in the shade of a pine along a cemetery road
thinking about deer ticks and how itchy the grass is
and scrambles away when a car crunches down the lane.

A padlock key lies along the curb. He rolls it
through his fingers, tosses it into the gutter, revels
in the clinks off the grate and the sploosh of the water.

Puffs of clouds court the horizon; he is surrounded.
Unseen space and flighty wisps lord over him
as the sun continues its ceaseless interrogation.

He plucks the head off a wildflower between his knuckles.
It is a giant white ring on his finger, a thousand tiny
blossoms he never could make. He twirls it and twirls it.

A rabbit picks at the gravel before him. It stops as he crunches
closer, perks up. They stare each other down.
It is frozen; he draws closer; its ears twitch; his lips part.

It, too, runs away.

by Luke Evans

from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 18, July 2010

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Feedback — Ben Rasnic

Feedback

This thing remembered—

tendrilled wisps of amber
groomed from sweaty plough blades
of Nebraska soil, waves breaking
the black earth into gold flames
ripening in air, rich with mirrors.

“It’s only wheat”,
she said,
“Just big dumb fields
of nothing but wheat”,
said

this harvest from my
loins, tawny fingers weaving
strands of sun-bleached
tasseled hair, face
flecked with straw
glistening

her bright smile,
her star rising.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, July 21, 2016 — by Ben Rasnic

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – On changing tides — Luke Evans

On changing tides

Out by the rails, the grass too tall to walk through,
but we did anyway, checking each other for ticks
afterwards. We itched like the blades
still scored our legs. She always had
such sensitive skin,
but I don’t.

The break room was our island of sun
beneath the skylights. She told me over slushies
what attraction was, its traits of irresistibility,
how it drags us out like a rip tide.
How we shoot the moon
to keep the rising tide from our shoes.
At some point, she sneaked in
a pun on hearts,
but I can’t.

Such a hard rain and so many worms on the asphalt.
I watched her in the gray-light, a parka
darkening her face, the car’s tires kicking up
droplets as she pulled away. Clocks
only scab the wounds, they never heal.
Packages come and go, zip codes change.
I watch the sky grow dark and light,
tirelessly, black and blue
again. One day she’ll see I’m gone,
at peace with the moon.
I’ll pack up my things,
take some lotion in case,
thinking she’ll know,
but she won’t.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 2, 2016 — by Luke Evans

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

On changing tides by Luke Evans

On changing tides

Out by the rails, the grass too tall to walk through,
but we did anyway, checking each other for ticks
afterwards. We itched like the blades
still scored our legs. She always had
such sensitive skin,
but I don’t.

The break room was our island of sun
beneath the skylights. She told me over slushies
what attraction was, its traits of irresistibility,
how it drags us out like a rip tide.
How we shoot the moon
to keep the rising tide from our shoes.
At some point, she sneaked in
a pun on hearts,
but I can’t.

Such a hard rain and so many worms on the asphalt.
I watched her in the gray-light, a parka
darkening her face, the car’s tires kicking up
droplets as she pulled away. Clocks
only scab the wounds, they never heal.
Packages come and go, zip codes change.
I watch the sky grow dark and light,
tirelessly, black and blue
again. One day she’ll see I’m gone,
at peace with the moon.
I’ll pack up my things,
take some lotion in case,
thinking she’ll know,
but she won’t.

by Luke Evans

Editor’s Note: The form of this poem perfectly mirrors the ebb and flow of the narrator’s emotions. Relationships sometimes (often) don’t last, but that doesn’t assuage grief or memory.