love & the memory of it
spook not at the shook world w/ all its viruses and murder hornetsinstead that summer evening call to mind when you drove alone over iowathe light in the fields how long it was how in love you were w/ it& the air & the world & that girl that atomic girl you would one day marryor call to mind a summer evening half a life from then & the park by the river the way her laughterechoed off the rocksin sparks that sighedinto the waterit was she that lit the world just then& not that ember of a sunher light like a struck string fretting its zing against the pic-nic tablesmay that be the music you hearwhen they unplug the ventilator
Copyright © 2021 by Jay Hopler.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Jay Hopler’s poems, essays, and translations have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including American Poetry Review, The Believer, Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New Republic, and The New Yorker. Green Squall, his first book, was awarded the Yale Younger Poets Prize by Louise Glück in 2005. His second book, The Abridged History of Rainfall, was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry. The recipient of awards and honors including the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, a Whiting Award, and the Rome Prize in Literature, Hopler lives in Utah with his wife, poet and Renaissance scholar Kimberly Johnson. “love & the memory of it” will appear in Hopler’s third book, Still Life, forthcoming from McSweeney’s in 2022.
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