Look
even as shadow falls away
I cannot escape the crush, paralytic weight
of your absence. Remember when rain
would not stop and the brook could not contain
the terror, when field disappeared beneath
rising water and we were carried away,
adrift but together, our greatest stretch and hallelujah.
Never bound, every gorge a chance to leap and rise—
emerge cleaner than an undefiled premise  
and like a god you carve
another sustaining and horrified glyph into mine.
The one thing this shining life teaches
is everything dies—
successions of days into nights render
fragile earth things— consider bristlecone pine
and brief mosquito. Organ fugues fettle at jagged edges
never completely obscure the scoring.
Perhaps what I admired most, envied but never found
inside was how no stage could define
or confine you— your figure refused gift of anonymity,
when least expected would open the trunk and reveal
some unexpected present.
First and final source always intended to mystify, left me
no choice but to rise until shift was obvious
and all the muted details spoken aloud— I will abandon
our ugly couch, leave it curbside where only memories
sleep, and still holding grief to bone,
go forward.


Alan Gann is a teaching artist-poet who tutors and facilitates writing workshops at Texans Can Academy. A multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, he is the author of two volumes of poetry: his 2018 release, That’s Entertainment, from Lamar University Press and Adventures of the Clumsy Juggler from Ink Brush Press. He also wrote DaVerse Works, Big Thought’s performance poetry curriculum. In his nonexistent spare time, Alan prefers to be outdoors: biking, birding, and trying to photograph some of the cool things he sees.