A Kind of Privileged Existence That Sets It Apart From Other Worlds

By ELEANOR STANFORD

All summer, I sit on the porch, my son appearing, disappearing. Walls of rain or night, of larkspur, bleeding heart. The stone floor long ago lifted from the lion’s den.

Translator’s note: Having children is a way of remaking oneself.

Somewhere between sunset and bed, between fireflies’ ellipses and his desperate texting, I beg him to play the saddest songs on his father’s guitar. Swinging Doors. Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Translator’s note: The wish is to conjoin remnants of some illusory self with a new undiluted self against the disintegrations of time.

If I hum a few bars, his fingers find the chords. How do you know? I ask. My son shrugs, his face bioluminescent. I don’t, he says. I listen.

Eleanor Stanford is the author of three books of poetry, The Imaginal Marriage, Bartram’s Garden, and The Book of Sleep. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, and many others. She was a 2014/2016 Fulbright Fellow to Brazil, and a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in poetry. She lives in the Philadelphia area.

[Purchase Issue 18 here.]

A Kind of Privileged Existence That Sets It Apart From Other Worlds

Related Posts

Milky Way over the Pacific Ocean

New Eras

ASHA THANKI
As fighter jets flew over Kuwait, the star wars of the Cold War relegated to recent memory, astronomers questioned the apparent emptiness of the outer solar system. There had been a long-standing presumption that the outer reaches were entirely devoid of the matter...

Image of Besser and Dewarrat

Rising Sap (La sève)

MARIE-CLAIRE DEWARRAT
The only enjoyable pastime she’d been able to find was to lie down in the tall grass and watch the clouds unravel. Stretched out facing the sky, she let herself dissolve into their slow glissades and the swaying of the hay stalks that seemed to dig their sharp spears into the azure.

banner for auction

Author Postcard Auction 2019

It's that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author through The Common's annual postcard auction! The personalization of the postcards makes them fantastic gifts, and they'll even be written and delivered to you or your loved one just in time for the holidays.