POTD - The Heart of Things by Ralph Angel

The Heart of Things

by Ralph Angel

And so say nothing of the birds 
out back, or how the leaves of trees grow louder 
than the city, how a room 
begins again as though it had been taken away 
only. Whatever now 
that I’m afraid of, but casually, like someone 
sitting crosswise in her chair, her legs 
curved over one side, sipping a glass of wine 
and spying on her neighbors, 
not ill-arranged things really, but that sense 
of realism that takes up a lot more time 
than I or anyone together 
has to give.

And so stayed longer, he said, into the evening 
behind the page and out of the cold, 
even the dead are free again 
to love us as in life a human being 
is singled out and standing there, on the curb, 
shifting the way we do from 
foot to shoeless foot, 

and so broke 
apart the vision I expected 
of myself, confused among those 
dozing on the platform, and at home the air 
is moist again with tea, but 
faintly so, those fragrant several moments 
that sound the most like dream, 
like dreaming aloud the nightmare 
that I alone am still.

I was lucky enough to study with Angel while at the University of Redlands in Southern California.