After the frost, you said, the lemon trees
did not bear lemons. I tell you there is music
in the phrase, but lately you don’t hear it.
I can only tell you what I’ve seen:
Here is where the echo of your voice
hits the wall and scatters. After the washout,
how I find my way to you depends
on the way to you.
In the morning the sun is golden
on the hard snow in the yard, angling
between dim-lit houses and still trees.
I haven’t spoken, but I will when the dark-eyed junco
nesting in the boxwood scratches out its warning
as cooper’s hawk settles in the coal pit beside me.
The day turns gray on the salt-white street, but the sparrow lingers
She came even though she knew the bus was running earlier and earlier
Now the highway takes us over the ridge where the cedars bend
In the puddle, where the deer drinks from its own reflection
Our faces are in shadow, but the tungsten streetlight bleaches her hair
I have no money, so the man ringing the bell takes our conversation down
At the sea, we photograph the flat water drawing out into the sound
She places the knife beside the rosemary cutting and closes her eyes to hum
In Chicago, she remembers the mountains, and the lake lifts like a window opening
Evan Goldstein is a poet from upstate New York. He received his BA from SUNY Geneseo, and he currently studies poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.