Adam Houle is the author of Stray (Lithic Press 2017), a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. His poems have appeared in AGNI, Shenandoah, Baltimore Review, and elsewhere. He lives in South Carolina, where he is an assistant professor of English at Francis Marion University.
A Time to Tear and a Time to Mend
Across the lawn the fungi bloat. The gray wish days
have come. Summer’s gone. Wreck it, this failing
moss-haired bench, its gaminess of pine and rot.
By inchworm increments, every edge turns soft.
Lapse with the season already into sadness and apathy,
Marigolds. Lean your heads and seed. Old light
dribbles off the arc lamp in fog that seems to drift
as it shines. The mind’s an anchored thing.
What does it mean when they say dew point?
Declaim it: does air take on water like a boat
foundering on a slow and graceful sink,
or, as I suspect, does it leech like cellar walls
I watched as a kid? I only saw what I could see:
Mary, the cloaked mother or a candle mid-collapse.
Bulbed clouds. A femoral head. I stomp to pulp the caps.