When I think of time, I think of narrative,
condensation that forms a line of drops
across windows so a finger could draw connections—
A face leaning close, as close as one
could hover next to another to propose
a point from which to begin—
And so it begins,
the traveling line that can only carry so much
in terms of revelation. A movement or suggestion,
which the hand follows then augments
in part from force of habit, because it wants to see
what gathers, what form of completion.
The water resists this type of writing,
insists on the story it wants to tell.
Or is this its lesson,
what’s fallen these many days from the sky
without remorse or apology, not even a covenant;
what washes roofs and pavements with equal regard?
whose only real gesture is liquid and falling,
which sends people home through the swell of evening
traffic and on to the comfort of dinners and beds.
A man crosses from one end of the city to another,
carrying a book or a letter.
A hand dips a metal plate into a bath of salts and acids.
The images focus and come into view.
“When I think of time, I think of narrative,” is from Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry, University of Notre Dame Press).