Featured Poem: To the Bone

By Alice Fogel

One against the other across
the fleetingly infinite field:
that dry crackling of pallid
corn stalks clacking comes close to it.
behind them mountains range like steppes
between the tiers of fog they coddle.
it’s autumn coming close
again and you need to compare
this one to autumns past, recall the other
sputters of color too good to last.
something you need to say, something
you come close to:
wind in its limitless visits—
especially in fall when it cleans
the overblown trees—
wind in possession of you
says it best. but you go on anyway,
trying to pen the breeze:
this fall phenomenon different
from summer’s in its macabre
celebration of the lifeless,
in its forever rewritten memory
of what comes next. sorrel
leaves swirling in a whirlwind
mimic your own compulsive
repetition, its own circle
of yearning so close
to a kind of comfort.
quickening conversations
of geese flocking south
chill through your thin skin:
behind it a choir of silence
undefined rows you
closer to what you’ll never forget,
what you almost remember
this time. closer to its name.
the heart overtaken. the bare staves
waving at boughs’ ends, the musical
red wings: something
they almost say, more like a sense
hunched in darkness, an ache,
a suspicion: every time,
closer to it, closer. hear
hard light on the hillside
flatten the visible scale
into two dimensions, and you’re in love
with the flatted third:
the way it breaks you down,
over and over, to mean you are
alive. the way you rub it in
the wound that you never
come close to wanting to close—
as if you could scrub away the whirling
of everything else and come down
like snow to the center, the eye, so close
to the purity of knowing inside this
present pain, that searing
white place without wind or words.
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