The idea of the ordered city

Andy Stallings

       Wind can be uplifting compared with a deep horizon
that floats. But to cry is common enough. You prick one
image and it inflates, you prick the other, it bleeds and
bleeds. Much like staged conversation in which the delicate
face of the interlocutor occupies the screen, and the formal
garden, its body native, blossoms indistinctly around the
fringe. Did you mean wrestled from or resistant to? It takes
a sweet second to deliver intent, a few moments further to
complicate response. A field is heavy, somewhat forsworn by
the end of spring, while seasonal iteration frames the valley.
My brain in the annual gale just lists and lists. A list of
anything at all—of brands, of words, of cities, of books, of
suburban marketplaces—is fundamentally like any other list.
Directive, but not for comfort. Though I will not claim any
greater direction than yours. I am in fact moving towards
you. Your luxury built on suffering is subject to rupture, not
rapture. Disloyal to the rhythm, disloyal to the song. As
death lies dormant within what isn’t yet perfectly taut. Did I
say song of freedom? And now we open the book of lives to
see what the hopeless won’t say. There’s no way to know
what dust will settle around us hereafter, and how. Red on a
field, a moment’s vibrant red. The orchard offers the silence
of apples, round and balanced, a lovingly performed
eugenics proposed as pastoral. But out in the neat woods our
walk of wonder has become a scramble in thunder,
disordering rain. The scale is always massive, while I feel
only particulars. 


Andy Stallings lives and works at Deerfield Academy in Western Massachusetts. He teaches poetry and coaches cross country and track. His second collection with Rescue Press, Paradise, was released in 2018.