All Commentary
Thursday, April 30, 2015

After 35

Sunday’s late-afternoon heat strolls
          The neighborhood’s new blacktop
And dogs the strays collapsed in playground

          Shade & whatever mercy found
The wren & buckled its orphaned heart
          Beneath the picnic table where I sit

Taking in what little breeze
          Comas the live oaks draws out laughter
From the back porches surrounding the park

          Soon evening will arrive with its darkening
Refrain of malt liquor & stars
          Wafts of agave blooms & marijuana

All the particulars that give me reason to sing
          Even though this year was yet another call
Without response from the other world

          What I pray is beyond this dust a descant
Of clear light & purpose where the body
          Crescendos into the unknowable

What keeps me yearning what keeps you here
          In this world of torn light and my excuses
I want to tell you I’m afraid things do not

          Go on this way waking too early
Driving to work and later chopping onions
          Some wine soft music to dance to

As the hardwood creaks & our toddler sleeps
          In the next room dreaming a familiar
Melody neither of us will ever hear

          I want to tell you I’m afraid
Of grave walls how I didn’t run yesterday
          That I’m afraid I don’t love you enough

I know about the small bills stashed
          In your favorite books that you will wake
One morning when the sun’s small salvations

          Seem just enough & more
Than what I can give you what if
          I’ve been here all along singing

To the same God that is not the same God
          Asking for water for wings to rise
Singing please I thought by now

          I’d have something more to say
Above the rooftops norteño tunes
          Rise & drift on through July

What I want is to hear you call me home
          Listen I’m afraid there is no other world
I’m afraid this will never be enough

  • Joshua Robbins is the author of a poetry collection, Praise Nothing (University of Arkansas Press, 2013).