Across the pond
a shipwreck of blown-down trees and bracken,
Slight wind. That’s everafter
all at once—an inkling at the nape turning
leaves changing places.
Nothing canters away
breathing hard, none lowers its head to drink,
now afternoon is gone and evening is already
a garden party elsewhere on the night’s invitation.
The mind declines.
The shrubs are at each other. In delicate scales
the water unmottles, where, each day glancing
from a final pivot, at each night landing a first
released opposite—shore handing off to shore
so many ideas of distance:
winter, ocean, wild horses, birdsong, inchworm.
But this pond is a pond.
This wind only wind I could reach into
to find—pull a memory by its scruff—
reeds wicking moonlight
the flashlight trains
drawn down in and out of the water,
how the aluminum fish stringer
candles the water behind my boat, boat and fish
a flicker inside a bigger flicker.
Just past my fingertips
night stretches slowly, nowhere nearer
now it’s looked after. Taste of blood, back of the throat.
Ever’s rough rub slipped through the gills. Oh moon—
drag me, like madness
across a star, then more, inches above the water.
Ryan Kingsley is a poet from Massachusetts who currently studies in the University of Washington’s MFA program (Seattle). He received his undergraduate degree in English and political science from the College of the Holy Cross.