Jesse Weiner


1. there are bricks and concrete,
metal things, like fences, hewn
poles, wires, objects of sawed wood.

    closer, as I reach behind you,
    undo your zipper, slide it
    down your back and feel your
    skin with my hand.

in a hundred years, poles
will fall, windows will break,
ceilings rot out and grass
and moss will creep into buildings.

    slowly, I move fabric from
    your shoulders, allow your linen
    dress to slide to the floor.

in two hundred years, some walls
will have fallen, bricks and
concrete will have been pounded
to dust, trees and vines will have taken over.

    and I pull you to me, feeling
    your body press against
    mine, your breath on my shoulder.

after five hundred years, it was
hard to know those buildings
existed, bare traces remained, but
the shapes were blocked with trees.

2. in the waking silence of a dream
releasing, things always decay,
the rot of mosses and grass
replaces the piled stones.

    you shy from me, legs
    pulling backward, face reaching
    toward me, hands uncertain.

a slow movement of air, a shudder
of blades and leaves, a
displacement of earth. disorder
always increases, nothing stays the same.

    trembling, I tear at your
    clothes, make you naked,
    you reach out to strip me.

everything changes, everything falls
and the evidence, in time,
will become less clear, a
hint only of shapes once there.

    love me now, I love
    you now, there is no
    time left, nothing here
    but the sound of our breathing.

relentless time moves in but
one direction, bricks become
trees become soil, there is only this moment.

The Day Of Longest Darkness

the house I almost
bought, in northport,
had a small house
near it, with a
molded tin ceiling,
painted white,
where I would keep
my books and be
a writer. we bought
a different house
and I didn't
write. it is the
solstice, the day
of longest darkness and
I should be
writing about that. tin
ceilings close a room
in, magnify noise,
and are a much sought
architectural detail. if
not painted, they diffuse
the light, reflect it and
maybe that way, it
lasts longer. this
is important on the day
of small daylight, the day
when bulbs burn out
most often. the sunlight
is weak today, not warm
enough and tin
ceilings hold the light
in, not the heat. I
wouldn't have written, anyway,
not then, not with
her, not in that house
with tin ceilings.

As Usual

you are and demand my response.
the architecture of your speech
is faulty, lacking in context.
you bring me things I need
and offer to cook food for me.
I have lost the ability to deny
you your wishes. you are not
beautiful, but you make me think
you are. I think about buying
food for you. you ask me for
baltic amber filled with insects.
the moon is indeed full.
the bridges are lit and people
are using the walkways in large numbers.
I went out to find things
to impress you with, scraps of speech,
old photographs, rusty coins. you
tell me I am lost, you tell
me to bring you flowers and leave.
I will not cry in your presence.
it is true. you are not beautiful,
but I will not tell you this.
neither will I tell you that
I love you and that I knew
I would find you. the architecture
of your leaving is complicated.
you have designed many bridges
but will not build them.
you ask me for jewelry and
I deny you jewelry. you ask me
for food and I deny you food.
I knew that you would leave me,
and I did not regret it.
the moon was full last night
and I watched you walking,
scavenging, asking me to cry for you.
you are not beautiful, but the
bridges are lit, the moon
is full and the night is very long.
I will not find things for you.

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