Maybe there’s no need for us to go anywhere more far than here,
said the dogwood leaves, mistaking speech
for song, to the catalpa leaves, imitating silence. It was like
sex when, push the tenderness to either side of it, it’s
just sex; hardly sex at all . . . Hardly worth mentioning,
except forgetting seems so much a shame, lately, and why
shouldn’t there be records, however small, of our having
felt something without for once having to name it, I know
what my dirt is, as if that were enough, might well
even have to be, to have moved mostly with the best
intentions, at least, before we stopped, that’s
all that happens, I think; we stop moving forever.
Then the War by Carl Phillips. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 1, 2022. Copyright © 2022 by Carl Phillips. All rights reserved.