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The Earth is Rude, Silent, Incomprehensible

Now that we exist

on the other

side of desire,

when I tell you

I love you, I mean

we live

on a planet

that’s dying

& it’s no accident

that the calla lily

is both the symbolic

flower for weddings

& funerals. I told you

that loons

mated for life

& when one died

the other spent

her days calling

out to him across

the gray pond.

Once again,

you see,

I was wrong. Look,

I will be

honest with you:

when I promised

myself, I did so

knowing not even

the sun lasts forever.

Look! The future

is pressing itself

so closely

against us it has already

passed us by

& to die must make

the same sound

as the woman

I watched during

a rainstorm

thrashing a river

with a branch.

Could we make

time pass

a little more

slowly? I want

to watch

the fireflies spark

up the tallgrass

& the bullfrog,

that unrolls

its wide fat tongue

a thousand

frames per second,

thwap the fly

that flickers

before it

with its honey-thick spit.

from Broken SpectreFind more by Jacques J. Rancourt at the library

Copyright © 2021 Jacques J. Rancourt
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Jacques J. Rancourt 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.