Summer Nights, Walking

By Ryan Van Winkle

a world quiet as black
and white and warm
as an ironed collar. So,
I want to say sorry

for forgetting to hang
my shirt where my shirt belonged.
You could say I learned something

in the drain of this year,
in coffee grounds, stems
of basil and Chernobyl spewing
all over the radio. That city too

quiet in the summer, full of shadows paused
on garage doors. And tonight I stumbled
into a photo of trees felled in an eye,

all trunk and splinter
the way your spine dimpled
where it forked. So, I am sorry

for forgetting how love is, how supple
trees bend, how hard hearts break,
how the wind, the snow, the evacuated
rock and chaos.

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