NyQuil

Everyone had been going on about the wind
and what in the world they were planning to do about it.
Some had decided to make large plastic shields
to relieve themselves of its various effects

while others surrendered to it readily, opening up
all their windows and doors and just letting it
have its way with them. To these I gave my admiration;
to the others, my respect. But is there nothing

in between, I asked, conveying myself to the couch
as one might assist a visitor of great wisdom
and delicacy across a divide, a contemplative type,
which I had theretofore not known myself to be.

How long I must have slept there, how deeply…
Once in a dream I laid hands on a shield of bronze
with silver inlay, emblazoned with the head of a fox,
but woke instead to find them reaching out

for the window and ready to open it. Only by then
the wind had stopped, and there was no one anywhere
to go on with. For a calm had overtaken the air.
The long blue calm about which nothing can be said.

 

This poem first appeared in the United Kingdom in The Mimic Octopus: An Anthology of Poetic Imitation.

 

 


Timothy Donnelly is the author of two books of poetry, Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit and The Cloud Corporation. He is the poetry editor of Boston Review and teaches at Columbia University.

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