Skip to content →

Another Strange Rose for the Afterlife

Broken river, you’re not broken after all,

you just dropped your wineglass.

Tattered sky, you’re only raining,

get used to it. Not even the brown laurel

is dead, not even the dry things the rushes said

or the little spinning creature, pivot

its smashed innards. Maybe we start out rising

and stay that way, two people really one

shadow in the advancing day, trying

to take the guesswork out of rapture,

hostages of we know not what,

perhaps ourselves or the more perfect other

never seen whose meddling is hardly felt

except as twilight’s paw upon one’s shoulder

gently prodding us away from each other,

away from the fire toward that clarifying

dark, free as sleep from desire, subject, theme.

But some call remains suspended back there

still rich with ambiguity as a cry of love

sounds like pain and vice versa, both

of which came from you and you caused.

from Fall HigherFind it in the library

Copyright © 2011 Dean Young
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Dean Young Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.