Division: Self-Portrait as My Grandfather After Chicago, 1959

by  Alyssa Jewell


You burned as watercolors bleaching in the wreckage.
What remains: a rock of days, long and catching
 
themselves on their own hours, on the shorelines
that curve home in all their sadness
 
like ribs sketching their way out of a white blouse
so that we can only say: we are here
 
and we are afraid of too many things,
 
of traffic, of the freeway hooking past dark
gold and grey threads that spin the evening
 
sky’s quiet brokenness down through
the fallow wheat fields as if a fire
 
were present enough to call God an artist
in a breath dismissed and grown sick
 
from hiding away a love song about wandering
and just a-going over home, over home
 
in the jaw bone: clenched sanctuary,
little tremor rattling the face that aches to sleep
 
through the embers of the night.