Does time make us crazy or is it something else? I see myself but back away. I want to know what life is, but only gain the subtle topping, cosmic merengue dissolving on the tongue. Something catches in the sieve. There is a carefulness I can’t shake. As though I could check and turn away from pain. But life puts its hands inside our bodies and leaves us blinking, reforming. Terror enlightens, but so does doubt, the tenderness of it. Strong pain can kill, and I know I’m looking it in the face when I get down on myself. Isn’t there a nicer way to be? It’s hard to take shape all the time. Beyond the sovereign July I came to life in, I’m playing polo in a dark field. The Pleiades shimmer down, ticking off Orion’s shield. On what can I depend? Telescopic laughter sounds far away where gravitation rends. The sky tilts its head to hear whatever signal night can send. The clouds are all ears. Wayward, I listen as they bend, drifting beneath the gleam of Mars into the hand of darker years.
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.