Interior with Silk —Philip Metres


Attendant Whiplash

of spring, even the house
wants out, even the dawn

elbows the dreaming dark
right out of bed. Dull blades

of grass weep gray beneath
our bootless feet. Rain leans

to listen, descends its thousand
hands at dawn. Now the air

is lousy with dew-glitter, lousy
with lilac, news that never ceases

to surprise, until we grow
bored of joy and it too withers

in warm weather. All these slow
motion stop action bee havens

opening and closing and opening
—mute claps of your song.

All over the quad, young men
test their bared quads and chests

on girls’ imagined gazes, hoist
pigskin to sky, all the young ones

blooming loosened limbs,
lusting upward to light. You

perfume our wintered
haggard, our tired midlifer

between nausea and delight.

photo: Heidi Rolf

photo: Heidi Rolf

Philip Metres has written ten books, including Sand Opera (2015) and The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance (2018), and the forthcoming Shrapnel Maps (2020). Awarded the Lannan Fellowship and two Arab American Book Awards, he is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University. 

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2019