Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Two Poems

Two Poems

Photograph via Flickr by pbull


We hold the spheres of this conversation with the tips of our fingers,
this cave where Hawthorne and Melville waited out a storm in
the shelter behind a waterfall, the melting snow on the knots
of these roots, the puffs of breath that surge between
our lips like cartoons. Your cheeks are rubberball ruddy,
and the morning is ripe with new springs popping
down the mountainside, streaking it with thaw. We will
end up at the trailhead where we started but
before it we will summit, look
at four states in panorama.


Chicago blazes and squirrels zip
and ricochet off the pavement and I
am leaving soon
and circles of deep purple juice spread on
the sidewalk under my sandals
I didn’t know

what they were until you gathered
a few in your cupped palm and tilted them
towards mine and I was
leaving soon
leaving the tiers of windows glittering in long
hot upward lines
I had only known

the word
I was leaving the long flat streets that meet
starched stretched white sky and the one
spring day that blinks up
suddenly green and the slick tips
of winter stairwells and the teeth of oneway
signs on the sides and the skyline
and lots full of skyscraper weeds I was leaving

and now I taste the berries fresh
from the steaming pavement almost too smooth
and mild to be a flavor
before I left you named these berries
for me and I am leaving soon

the slow spreading nights and the sharp cuts of highways

leaving this city with a crushed palm and pocket full
of mulberries that don’t even matter
that taste so mild and smooth I might not even
have noticed they were there
just tiny gleaming bulbs and purple stains beneath
my toes on a blazing sidewalk a spare
few blocks from the sheet of lake
we swam in one night
gleaming so broad I could not see another side