Yes. You Will Be Saved

carl phillips
Carl Phillips

Wild is The Wind

(Excerpt)

by Carl Phillips

About what’s past, Hold on when you can, I used to say,
And when you can’t, let go, as if memory were one of those
mechanical bulls, easily dismountable, should the ride
turn rough. I lived, in those days, at the forest’s edge —
metaphorically, so it can sometimes seem now, though
the forest was real, as my life beside it was. I spent
much of my time listening to the sounds of random, un-
knowable things dropping or being dropped from, variously,
a middling height or a great one until, by winter, it was
just the snow falling, each time like a new, unnecessary
taxonomy or syntax for how to parse what’s plain, snow
from which the occasional lost hunter would emerge
every few or so seasons, and — just once — a runaway child
whom I gave some money to and told no one about….

 


Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm

by Carl Phillips – 1959-

So that each
is its own, now—each has fallen, blond stillness.
Closer, above them,
the damselflies pass as they would over water,
if the fruit were water,
or as bees would, if they weren’t
somewhere else, had the fruit found
already a point more steep
in rot, as soon it must, if
none shall lift it from the grass whose damp only
softens further those parts where flesh
goes soft.
There are those
whom no amount of patience looks likely
to improve ever, I always said, meaning
gift is random,
assigned here,
here withheld—almost always
correctly
as it’s turned out: how your hands clear
easily the wreckage;
how you stand—like a building for a time condemned,
then deemed historic. Yes. You
will be saved