Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-one
Spring 2013
Semitone Étude (pianissimo), in which you skip alternating notes
Christopher Robley

Katherine misses her son strangely now—in landscapes.
Where a red pail in a sandbox needs no asterisk or explanation.

Half full, its ordinary stillness serves. Bare-stem buckwheat
scratches summer’s naked edge. Shadows of another season
angle on the yard until it yields. This afternoon moves darkness

like a lullaby. Tomorrow, she’ll spend the day omitting him;
what gives hope hurts. Sadness needs no signifier here.
Every stroke is a resistance: his shape, his shade—

She could shut both eyes tight as a tomb and render him
from memory, call him from that darkness when he doesn’t
call for her. But a playful wind is whipping up Mount Tabor

and she wants to catch a dandelion’s ghost seed in mid-air:
I remember everything. I promise, I remember.
She seeks him now in elision. When time blinks open:

a deeper red, a rougher sand, a stillness made more still
by the blur of windborne seeds—deaf to color—flurrying
like a first snow, settling on cars parked along the street like punctuation.

About Christopher Robley

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