How Quickly A Year Can Die

How Quickly A Year Can Die

Francis Ittenbach

Issue 33
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In transition, the night’s edge –
Sweat-soaked, barren room, light curling
Around the untouched corners like
Rugs pulled out, boxes packed, nowhere
Between here or there this life,
                   this person,
Sitting in the interstitial spaces between
Two years,
                   two lives,
                                      two day-after-days.
How quickly a year can die –
The serial ash of the summertime,
This pattern, the edge of connection,
Dwelling on a tightrope between skyscrapers;
I don’t understand,
                    I never will.
And still we’re here – another year has passed,
The slow decay of a mind that didn’t know
Its own necessities, an apparition of those selfsame
Faces in its crowds,
                                    the faces that only now
Come back in shades that hold their arms
Out wide, shuttering sunlight from the sky
Outside my window blocked by tapestries
I hung to keep me in;
                                  the streetlight seems
To promise wakefulness, to leave me
Crawling over the boundaries of early morning
Fantasies that, to be honest, pulse with ruined
Vestiges of who I dream to be –
                                     oh, if I could
Leap into the empty earth’s canyon veins,
                      the cracks
Calling full-throated as if hope
                                     would say my name.

Francis Ittenbach

Francis Ittenbach is a graduate student in the English Department at Emory University. His poems have previously been published by the Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, Silver Needle Press, Slash Pine Press, and the New College Review.

Issue 33
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