Tom Thompson

A Promising

A tendency, tired as I am, risen
as I am to this wind-shaken,
rooted boat of a building,
high up and swaying at the point
you fail to kiss me.
A barking breaks out, fizzles
to a siren I attend to without meaning
or prospect of. Steam
rattles the pipes, a caged thing
creasing the air between us.
It’s emptied, pressed,
a wee bit torn but
ready to wear. Sun
bears down on my hinges, now,
and as suddenly lifts,
airing me out,
lording me, twirling me up
like the ballerina figure
that rises out of your jewel box each morning—
that ritual promising, that whorled plastic
specimen endlessly nestling
amid a low-ceilinged sky.
Among our sparkling dustfields of charge
and play, we have tens of tiny mirrors
to riff off our willowy lamp,
our tissue, our limbs, to toss
poppies and poppies of light
at the window to melt into a
here-no-here
the mouths that open
what we put our mouths to.


Tom Thompson
“A Promising” is from The Pitch (Alice James Books, 2006).