poetry

A Poem by Tim Carrier

Right Love

Eyes to the grass on San Mateo & a grav-

itational wave. People out for some sun, & the palm trees just looking around. Well it’s August.

Or coming out of the movie at night above Sunset, late on a Sunday. The sprinklers hiss for the palm trees & no one’s around. The dark green hedges & the city below is like little green tents lit from inside.    & at N. Crescent Heights on the cinderblock building the Star Supply Co., in whitewash aluminum letters.

The deer whose running is accompanied by a clicking.

A spotted pony whose mane has grown long to cover his eyes. These are things he is like. Black jeans, & his hand pushing his hair back, in the restaurant.

Would not let go his hand until I had spoken to him for some time. An energy of which the world doesn’t ask any questions.

Standing around in my own grief right now, is the metaphor.

Ryan handing off the bag of mixtapes, in the parking lot. Plastic bag with its little tear & the handmade covers in their plastic cases. Magazine photographs, from W & Spin.

The third voice saying, Drink the soft dirt line. Me saying :    You’ve never been here.

Sun on the asphalt & smoke from the fires up in the canyons, I’m leaving the parking lot.

The systems, that make the poem work.

Later my neighbor in the mean dirt town on the mesa on Saturday night, in the little dirt yard in her nightgown, burning the dry clumps of grass. White nightgown & a firelighter wand with the tags still on in her hand. Little barefoot kids over the chain-link at the Dairy Queen, checking it out. Me a dark green circle at the back of my neck. The backs of their hands smearing their chests & their steadfast chins.

What makes the line a line, Brenda told me, is :

Whatever
makes
the
line
glad
to
be
a
line—
it’s
just
a
question
of
what
it
thinks
in
its
deepest
heart.

I held his hand & we didn’t need Los Angeles.

When I walked away I was brushing my hands along my body. Jupiter, & Orion. My arms & in my hair.

Someone opened a hydrant, then all the hydrants for two or three blocks. Give up your ghosts.            Or give them a home.

Survival, evasion, resistance, & escape. Orion over the cottonwood at La Plata. Tracks in the arroyo where the bear was. I’m rolling us cigarettes on the little blue bench in the cold & the dark.

Little black jeep. Let’s feel whatever we want.

The R is the profile of a head; or maybe began as the mouth. The Y is the human silhouette; happiness, joy & health; loving in loving relation. The N is every individual being produced; ‘ must be hidden in view, in order to remain intact. ’ Inside the A, the vocalization of the bodies’ energies. The full range of movements of the souls.

In a letter in the mail, to the post office in the trailer,    Tim, life will join us somehow.

Ryan, you have a clearer sound than other people. Climbing up on the roof with the Fritos & beer. The little house’s flat tarpaper roof & fake adobe, & the little north mountains just kind of moving around.

On the high plateau of the hinterlands. Old piñon & juniper hills. The watered fields of timothy-grass & hay.

        What makes this story
        a poem?

                That I’m telling it
                to you.

The running is accompanied by a clicking. Lying down as a belt, three stars. There was an ionized field that wasn’t a metaphor. Of pulling off our shirts. Lifting up our arms.


Tim Carrier is from St. Louis and lives in New York City. He earned an MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts (attending as a white / non-Native student), and has been a Lambda Literary Fellow and the Galway Kinnell Memorial Scholar at the Community of Writers.

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