Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tame & Wild

Continuous Until We Stop

But when I came to what I'd been told
was the zone of tragedy — transition — it was
not that. Was a wildering field, across it the light
steadily lessening, and the tall grasses, waving,
deepened their colors: blue-green, or
a greenish blue . . . hard to tell, exactly. Was like
when the body surrenders to risk, that moment
when an unwillingness to refuse can seem

no different from an inability to,
though they are not the same — inability,
unwillingness. To have said otherwise
doesn't make it true, or even make it count
as true. Yes, but what does the truth
matter now, I whispered, stepping further inside what,
by then, was night, almost. The tamer animals
would soon lie down again, and the wild go free.

A short poem of satisfying ambiguity from Double Shadow, the newest book by Carl Phillips.

Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Black and white author portrait by Robert Giard