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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Myth (Ascending); As if the Suburban Sky Had Wounded the Earth

By: Benjamin Renne

Myth (Ascending)

Look at the morning –

how it passes our heads

tuned skyward like antennae,

spines bent toward new meridians,

how thunder rises along parallels

and each inhalation culminates

in a long waited breath.

Look at the morning –

how we follow the progression

with our eyes but lose track of it

somewhere up there,

how our interiors light up

and our hearts perch in the hollows

of trees, fragrant and green.

Look at the morning –

how it shivers before rain

and then just as suddenly

turns the clouds to ruin,

how our lungs dissolve into it,

consumed by forest and light,

renewed by the solemn erasure of sky.

As if the Suburban Sky Had Wounded the Earth

Where the dog took off                                        across wet leaves, parabolic

as the creek and the low hillside and the smooth white pine –

we made our way under

that hue of sky

the blue-yellow tangent

transparent plastic seam,

where hands covered the anguish of our limbs, a lament ossifying to stone –

you clung against the sky                     like a premature cherry blossom.


We spent hours just training for this moment,

our bodies drenched with space

our lips parted to reveal the inner seam of the sky.

We felt how deeply the meter ran,

through each syllable, threaded

with winter and stillness

coalesced into blue-red maple,

caught in the uncultivated presence of March.


You led the dog and a thousand pine needles, the woods

bending backward, the sun

     between its leaves and yours –

How everything seemed to have a shadow now!

The problem was daylight and finitude,

when even in your absent gestures

you fluctuated brightly,                                                               aglow with the wounded earth.

We looked up to reassess the season –

not spring exactly,

but a contagious memory of it.


Benjamin Renne lives and teaches in the Washington, D.C. area. In 2017, he earned his MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University. Concerned with vision, elegy, and prophecy, Renne explores the ways in which the poet navigates transcendent landscapes as the cataloger and primary witness of the prophetic. His poetry and short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in SLAB, Ghost Proposal, and GFT Presents: One in Four.


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