A Version of Panic

BY JOSHUA WARE


Crickets swarm from your mouth, chirping a twilight lullaby of American-made longing and regret. A mythological image portends cataclysmic confetti, animal dreams, and the bleating of abstract sheep into complex geometries of love. My catalog outlives daylight and expands into the corners of my bedroom. Apollinaire wrote of a bird that changed the twentieth century; I am writing about a crate of purple figs, their smooth skin altering the trajectory of your life: an omen foreshadowing an otherwise unforeseeable moment. A poet hides in the hand-sewn gold lamé pocket of another poet. Train-whistle coffee accompanies our compositional duets. We share the same time zone, and a secret sleep made of sound. Winter snow will dust our worlds, bit by bit, soon enough

Our Momentary Awe

 

We are all brief, existing breath by breath in a state of momentary awe measured by the sorrow punctuating every inhalation. Just as the sunflower's fiery bloom opens and ascends, its yellow inflorescence will wither into a browning husk during autumn's brilliant madness. The change of season is not a metaphor for life, but a rapidly altering backdrop for all our daily quandaries. Yes, the pain of living obscures us all, but darkness affords a vision wherein everything is equal: pitch black, shapeless, deforming us into mystery. The fact that you can embrace your broken friend on a cold hardwood floor, and then email me at night, proves this to be true. The singular instance of touch escaping us is no less powerful in its brevity. The wisdom of impermanence in our delicate lives speeds me closer to you

 

Joshua reads "A Version of Panic" & "Our Momentary Awe"

 

Joshua Ware lives in Cleveland, OH where he teaches at Case Western Reserve University and writes for Vouched Books. He is the author of Homage to Homage to Homage to Creeley (Furniture Press Books, 2011) and several chapbooks, most recently Imaginary Portraits (Greying Ghost Press); How We Remake the World (Slope Editions), co-written with Trey Moody; and SDVIG (alice blue books), co-written with Natasha Kessler. His work has or will appear in many journals, such as American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, Conduit, Gulf Coast, New American Writing, and Third Coast.