|Tony Hoagland [High Volumes]|
by Tony Hoagland
There is no single particular noun
for the way a friendship,
stretched over time, grows thin,
then one day snaps with a popping sound.
No verb for accidentally
breaking a thing
while trying to get it open
— a marriage, for example.
No idiomatic phrase for losing a book
in the middle of reading it,
never learning the end.
There is no expression — in English, at least
— for avoiding the sight
of your own body in the mirror,
for disliking the touch
of the afternoon sun,
for walking into the long flatland
that stretches out before you
after your adventures are done.
No adjective for gradually speaking less, and less,
because you have stopped being able
to say the one thing that would
break your life loose from its grip.
Certainly no name that one could imagine
for the aspen tree outside,
its spade-shaped leaves
spinning on their stems,
working themselves into
a pale-green, vegetable blur.
No word for waking up one morning
and looking around,
because the mysterious spirit
which drives all things
seems to have returned,
and is on your side again.