Joshua Kryah

from Closen

1 [call: Clare]
Clabbered, the sky shut
with clouds,
leaden and various, an inclement orthography
of wind and rain, suthering through the fen,
where the will-o-wisp
lights its dusky lantern,
honey fungus or ball lightning, the supposed source
of all my wonderment, what keeps me
driven from field to field, among the furze-light—
your albino form and name, I would walk
forever out into
, what first
caused this aurora, I would walk
forever out into
in my brain.

2 [response: Mary]
Endless pageantry,
a moth to the flame
or you—
(I tried to put it out)
another body writhing
among the straw field’s burnt remains,
(I tried to put it out)
the singed animal
that draws near, half consumed.
(I tried to put it out)
Your voice gutters,
so close, so near,
(I tried to put it out)
my air.

3 [call: Clare]
That trick of light
which recedes
just as soon as I approach it—corpse candle,
ignia fatuus, Jenny’s burnt arse—what so flickers on and off
throughout the much thick
and marsh air,
I follow,
being led by so bright a thing as you,
my sidereal, O Mary, Mary, if you knew
how I long for you (this madness
the doctor calls
“inquiet of the brain”), surely, you would
leave behind something other than this tumor,
this white and wan

4 [response: Mary]
From such wreckage,
the estranged, unstill, stirred up
and sent forth wanderer,
gathering yourself
into utterance, blue-lipped
pronouncement or covenant,
whatsoever keeps this ache alive—
your still terrible progress,
having stepped out of a body of fire
into a world of fire—
(I would walk forever out into)
your life, to mine,

5 [call: Clare]
Bog and gas collision,
what might be
the earth grinding along its mill-wheel, over
and over the remnants of such a love as was once
had between us, ‘til sparked,
the green-blue flare,
your body alight, your mouth open and yet
not speaking—how you die out in me, engulfed,
your absence leaves you
still dearer,
that I will search ever after, until, my lost life
becomes a part of yours—so much elsewhere
and annul, such
6 [response: Mary]
White ankles in the heather,
a horse and rider
who drives it hard, drives it
From the east, moor-light,
a field drained of color,
and you—
my espousal, consignment,
landlord who keeps me shuttered.
Wherefore am I tenant,
put on lease, a binding
that, however shouldered,
will not break?
Unsought, unbidden,
but you are.

Joshua Kryah
This series, from a manuscript-in-progress, first appeared in The Iowa Review, 37/2, Fall 2007.