Jays screech on either side of me.
A train passes north to south.
The sky is white along the tree line.
Insects sing to summer, which is leaving soon.
I said, “Tell me things you’d tell me if you were drunk.”
It’s a game I play, myself against an opponent I can’t see or describe.
I lean into his shoulder, cupping into memory.
The chain of events peters out, ending mysteriously.
A catbird complains, then falls silent.
Leaves spread and scatter light.
Why is it as if there’s always something wrong?
Minute injustices I’ve committed follow me across night into day.
From afar everything seems innocent.
All words are one, each pinned to each object in the field of language.
I don’t hear the jays—I note their absence.
Then I hear them—a ghost sound.
copyright c Karen Schoemer 2016
Karen is the Virginia Scholar for Autumn 2016