By: Jesse Wolfe
At a certain point you have to stop running—
you cannot outpace the whistling
bombs, wavelengths shortening
as they target you from the sky.
Not even the clouds, lolling, serene,
contemplative, above the scorched debris.
At a certain point you have to stop
because neither the forest from which you emerged
nor the ocean toward which you stretch
offers cover: your quietest stride
finds no camouflage in the wind.
At a certain arbitrary point
you have to say, here is a beginning
(not to pretend that nothing lingers,
that the trek across the bridge was a mirage,
or the nights sleeping on abandoned farms,
accepting bread and water from strangers),
trusting that a different melody will rise,
as the wind ensemble, perfectly still
between one passage and another,
lips wetted by tongues, instruments half aloft,
conceives the cadence of the fading silence.
Jesse Wolfe’s poetry has appeared in publications including Tower Journal, Good Works Review, Mad Swirl, and Eunoia Review. An English professor at California State University, Stanislaus, Wolfe previously served as Faculty Advisor to Penumbra, the campus’s student-run literary and art journal. His scholarly work includes the monograph Bloomsbury, Modernism, and the Reinvention of Intimacy (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and a forthcoming book on intimacy in contemporary British and American fiction.
"Cumulous" appears in Wolfe's book En Route, available in our shop!