Jan/Feb 2020 Poetry Special Feature

Short Days Long Nights Cyclical Annual

by Erin Kirsh

Borrowed image

Short Days Long Nights Cyclical Annual

winter night stretches long as sunset
shadows, shrink days like cotton you have
not moved from our couch for days
i have replaced your waters you don't
seem to notice but you are breathing
so these are small mercies you grunt
when i try to change the channel
away from news this horror that
atrocity everything so activating
everything sharp teeth. i say let's go
for a walk the shore is not so far
but you do not respond, there
was a shooting, targeting people
like me, and then they broke
into our house of worship
i tell you it has not escaped
me how worship sounds
like warship, this stirs something
but not response. i lace up
my boots the cat weaves
around my feet bats at
the cords, chews the nubs
at the end. i give him a kiss
tell him to watch you he cleans
himself to tell me of course
no big deal i can do that
while multitasking and i walk
west to the beach looking over
my shoulder for shadows
shaped like men it is colder
near the water is always colder
something about tides or wind
or gods. the tide is out i crunch
shells under foot the fog is thicker
than my jacket has stolen the moon
from us, like no, not you, you have shown
you can't be trusted. you have
squandered this too.


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