May/June 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 3 Nature's Nature: A Gathering of Poetry |

Meanwhile, and Anyway

    Otherwise, what of empathy, or any way to get there: upriver, and then what? Leaves, or     the burst and fall of them, or just the stripped-by-now branches—comes to all     the same: false witness, a smell like licorice, stolen seawater as it begins to turn,     whatever boy stumbles lost inside the man flickering almost back, chance     when it still lies smoldering, but nowhere a wind yet, nothing stirs, everything     could happen. . . . Easily, lazily, I sway. You were right, I think; I was wrong:     acceptance as the too-long- missing counterweight to the staggered weightlessness     of sorrow, regret—the old angers too? Why not? Ravens, horses; another barn on fire—     it used to feel that lonely. Impenetrable, the logic by which I mistook your hand     in the night, last night, for mine.

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Carl Phillips
Carl Phillips is the author of thirteen books of poems, most recently Reconnaissance (FSG, 2015). He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

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