If I remember the lake yesterday, the tanager
deep in the woods, it feels like a memory
lost in a series of new ones, each singular event
simply a tanager in a tree. And then there are only trees, a huge blue sky.
Say it is not gone, I cannot find a tanager. It is only gone
when you are looking for it. How the day passes
more brief than the one that came before, when a late evening chill spills
down your neck, the way the forest goes quiet. I want to tell you
that tanager will always remain a scarlet flutter in the high canopy,
will beckon you to see in a rush of color the fleeting moment, your day
just another day across the lake. And the tanager
do not try and take it with you, but listen instead to this song.
(He pulls her close, a hand in her hair.) This talk of tanagers stirs
your thoughts, your eyes tell me so. It is here at the lake where you feel
most alive. Tell me you love me, and this moment will be ours, will fill
with our living. When you wake in the morning I am the song
in your resting hair, the softness of your mouth, and my touch
tells you so. The tanager across the lake you will never hold
inside your delicate hands, how to hold so much color.
But we are here now, and the lake is here, the tanager
here. We should only ask for so much.
David Crews (davidcrewspoetry.com) is the author of the poetry collections High Peaks (RA Press, 2015) and Circadian Rhythm (Paulinskill Poetry Project, 2014). His poems have appeared in The Greensboro Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Stone Canoe, and others. He serves as editor for The Stillwater Review. Follow @dcrewspoetry.