Now you have to learn it all.
There is humor, blueberries,
the workings of the US postal service.
Your middle name.
I want to ask you if we know anything
of what we can boat. If we are ever
passengers to a resin clearly described.
I drive up a hill and from the top
can remember this or that
small trauma stealing versions
of ourselves from ourselves.
But your presence tethers me to a softer year.
A jaw without the phrase of longing
heard harsh passing through it.
sight our limbs work forward.
mulberry rhymes with serrated
margin when treaded slowly.
the circles around your body
expand all my imagined ellipses
further into an orchard row.
i mean here in water, here a bit
of foxglove bridges our strains
to mauve. oh speed seeped &
separated this lake a dune,
that shade of island.
I forget which night collected our best visions.
The time with the mist in the valley.
Particles gathering across your face.
The sea is never rust-colored.
Where you put your missing
there is always room to breathe.
The time with the wind in your hair.
Wind over the hills, hand on the wheel.
Each atmosphere is independent of hunger
and yet this hunger. Is a complete thought
free from hollow? I don’t know how to kneel
properly among these flowers. These sand
dunes shaping themselves before the push.
I don’t know how to empty this bottle of its bird.
Maybe, some spring
or fall, you’ll go with me
and we can actually make it
a vacation where we explore
the little towns and foothill
I hear there’s a shop
that collects everything
you were meant for and gives
visitors small vials of the
best days. It was 1965, no
it was 1981. A story my father
once told us in a room
with glow stars fixed to the ceiling.
It’s January. Every agate is an expert
at breaking and repairing. I sit
outside in the cold. Watch angled
oxygen, its breath forgetting blue.
Emily Jern-Miller is the author of You Are Not a Bird (Dancing Girl Press). She writes poems and postcards near Graton, CA.