Each Day Travelling

“Landscape, New Mexico,” by Marsden Hartley. Art courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hello Buson!

I found another dead snake on the road today
and thought of you, the way you said Use the commonplace

to escape the commonplace. Your square face
could have framed any painting,

but you chose this – the ashen leaves
of so many cold days,

one purple thistle poking through.

You walked a long way
with pebbles in your shoes,

sat above a mountain pond considering your reflection
until nothing remained.

Here, the foothills are full of coyotes,
and in my room I am surrounded

with the yelps of their longing.
The senses flood; the sunken islands of brackish grass

appear to float in the pond –
                       I feel the whole world in me,

the unrelenting grief that is each day travelling
so quickly into the next. How closely

you looked at things: Struck by a raindrop, snail closes up.
And then, dear Buson, and then?

You would have kissed me, I think,
on all sides of my face.

Elizabeth Jacobson’s second book, Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air, winner of the 2017 New Measures Poetry Prize, selected by Marianne Boruch, is forthcoming from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, fall, 2018. Her recent work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Hinchas de Poesia, Orion Magazine, Ploughshares, Plume, Poet Lore, The American Journal of Poetry, The Laurel Review, and The Miami Rail.
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