And what held the balance of lives, ivy swindling
through branches, stains removed from
walls in record time, dust veils swept under
bookshelves. Trees unnamed. Ants are
heavy this year. What again was I doing
with my days? Arrange bundles, stack cans,
drag my nails across a quarter’s circumference,
this furious caution binding joy to vision, twice
unmarrowed from contained loneliness. It is,
perhaps, for the best that the failure of language
ruptures inward, a rivet of clay melting eddies
of foam and grain. There are essentials, but
I never reach them, insisting on civil thanks that
are not generosity but desperation split in three
halves. Portioning restraint into poised slivers of need.
Off the hillside, hushed into the brevity of mountains.
Jessica Edgerton is a former writing instructor and currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Epigraph, Mud Season Review, The Maine Review, and Seven Circle Press.