I face myself, the thing convincing as a face can be, although it breaks where it should mend in laughter. Do you believe in me though you should believe in nothing, where it hurts a little, that time of life that stuns into you, so you see the future, where you stand guard, eager to accept you? Everything I’ve known, little is more uncertain. It is like a glow, difficult to speak of. So did we age, we as we are in the comic paternity left us by our beachcomber friends who found in their time words all around them gleaming. It stuck and I was me, some fraction of the truth, which more than anything was addition. The face is there, for a time present, then it goes into the earth, having seen through the vast prism. Sight is circles and cycles. The face changes what it wears but always the eyes, silent and alone, holding course while everything that ever happened is added up then forgotten. Quiet trench in the sea, years find the ships in your depths, but I am in the emerald light you promised me. It is like the waxy contour of a leaf the way it darkens and listens to our wanting a guarantee, some high-def purpose for being here.
Caley O’Dwyer’s poems have appeared in AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW, ALASKA QUARTERLY REVIEW, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, CREAM CITY REVIEW, ZOCALO PUBLIC SQUARE and other venues. He is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has received the Academy of American Poets University Prize, as well as a Helene Wurlitzer grant for poetry. A painter and psychotherapist in private practice, Caley teaches creative writing and clinical psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles. His first book, FULL NOVA, was published by Orchises Press in 2001. Other examples of his work can be found at caleyodwyer.com.
Author photo courtesy of Audrey Mandelbaum.
Featured Photo by Caley O’Dwyer.