Today's poem comes to us from Alexandra Teague, from her prize-winning first collection, Mortal Geography:
When I become accustomed at last to lying in bed alone,
sheets finely wrinkled as curtains blown across the windows
of dreams, and the crane-necked streetlight fills the room
with its electric-nerved, luminous vision, what I had
seen for my future (the restless flowering of his arms in sleep
around my shoulder, the soiled pillows in their matching cases
where our faces, breaths apart, turned toward and away) recedes
like the hurricane that never hit land the night we met,
when the beach was evacuated, the buildings shuttered in plywood,
and the news crews stood dry amid the whipping palms,
in the margins of their own story. Later, we saw a photograph shot
high in the clouds: the storm’s eye turning above the ocean,
as we swam at in the pool naked, waiting to be swept up
in a chlorine shudder, a geyser of winds, into the rapture
of our lives. And though we almost bought it together, we didn’t.
Somewhere, framed in its calm bay of glass, that storm is hanging—
on the gallery’s wall at the pinpoint end of this land, or in a room
like the one where even now he is lying beside her, sleep’s
aperture narrowing around them, and all the years when we almost
loved each other forever, at last, blown far off the shore of this life.
Alexandra Teague’s first book of poetry, Mortal Geography, won the Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and has just been published (April 2010) by Persea Books. Her work has also appeared in Best New Poets 2008, Best American Poetry 2009, and The Yale Anthology of Younger American Poetry, as well as journals including The Missouri Review, The Iowa Review, and New England Review. She was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and has since lived in Arkansas, Missouri, Florida, Montana, Hawaii, and California. She currently teaches English at City College of San Francisco and lives in Oakland. For more information about upcoming readings and publications, visit www.alexandrateague.com.
Thanks to Alexandra for sharing her poetry with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!