Joseph Massey

 
THE SHAPE OF SOMETHING SAID
 
No time beyond daylight 
waving on the floor 
 
like spilled water, and so it goes. 
This window won’t hold 
 
the omens that pass. My mind 
haunts my body as my body
 
haunts the room 
and there’s a glitch 
 
in the quiet, an inked-in echo. 
Sleep is a relief. 
 
Sleep and poetry. 
Not words, but the space 
 
around words 
anchors me to an hour. 
 
Across the street 
forsythia bursts from black rubble. 
 
Even inside, I’m surrounded 
by what wakes in April. 
 
No time beyond shadows 
spilled around windows. 
 
A nameless tree’s makeshift sundial 
sliding deeper into the mulch.
 
 


TO A NEW FRIEND
 
 
Daylight disassembles into sound— 
the hum I hold in my head 
is the hum you hold in your head, too. 
The poem, written or unwritten, is 
enough to see us through the thaw. 
 
Soon the fields will fill with names. Mud 
 
will rupture with indescribable color.
 

 
 
 
 
YEAR’S END (WINTER SOLSTICE)
 
 
What began with bewilderment 
ends with fatigue. Pixelated 
days dispersed into static 
we mistook for speech. 
We stopped listening 
how many shocks ago. 
The horror and how it hollows. 
One way out 
is to locate grace in a walk 
and receive a tree’s bare 
but bright frequency. 
Notice the waxing gibbous 
afternoon moon 
smudged above a shuttered 
Bank of America—lucent, 
resigned to its transparency. 
See starlings 
expand and collapse 
like lungs exhaling dusk. 
Now the long night, 
a long silence 
if we’ll let it find us.