05 March 2005

a Carl Phillips reveal

From Rock Harbor published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux:

Loose Hinge
by Carl Phillips

Of the body: most,
its resilience, have you
not loved that, its—its

that too?
And the unwitting

prayer getting made
between them,
as when we beat at

what is closed,
closed against us, and call
the beating, in time,

song. To have been
among the hands
for which the stone lets go

its sword,
or the tree its gold

what must that
feel like? With what speed

does the hero grow
used to—necessarily—
the world’s surrender

else—how call it
strange, how

not inevitable? Heroes,
in this way at least, resembling
the damned

who are damned
as traitors, some
singing. We could not

help it,

made me
—as if
betrayal required more than

one party, which it
does not.
Admit it: you gave

yourself away. We are
exactly what
we are, as you

suspected, and—
like that—the world
obliging with its fair

examples: rain and,
under it, the yard
an overnight field

of mushrooms,
the wet of them, the yellow-
white of, the

nothing-at-all, outside
themselves, they
stood for. You’ve been

a seeming
exception only. Hot;
relentless. Yourself the rule.

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