LDR

By BERNARD FERGUSON

the great ramble of the roads toward the airport, the flight
up & down the flight of stairs inside the house in which
i work now, inside the city & its parks that sprawl long & point
toward the river, which points toward an ocean, the soft hush of the air
conditioning unit above my bed, the drop of rain against my window
& the duty of its siblings falling together, the music they make
& the count i keep of them in my head, the way i count without
my knowing, like i count the seconds, violent shifts from nothing
to nothing & the wind of them against my body, i stack & stack,
the heel of my broken boot against the pavement, some number
of steps that will carry me, today, to where i am needed, another number
to carry me to where i need, i catalogue like addition, recollection, & i keep
the math simple, like all the rules that hold this world’s body & thus
hold my own, rules like distance & time that i must pass
through, that i must praise like i praise all gods, the ones that keep you
alive as i am alive, that promise me the miracle of exchange, this tapestry of
little proofs for the warmth that is your warmth, for the time that is your time.

[Purchase Issue 18 here.]

Bernard Ferguson is an MFA candidate at New York University and a Writers in the Public Schools Fellow. He is the winner of the 2019 Hurston/Wright College Writers Award, a winner of the 2019 92Y Discovery Contest, winner of the 2019 Nâzım Hikmet Poetry Prize, and an Adroit Journal Gregory Djanikian Scholar. He has work published or forthcoming in The Paris Review,The Southampton Review, SLICE, Pinwheel, Winter Tangerine, and the Best New Poets 2017 anthology, among others. He hopes you will tell him about your wonder.
LDR

Related Posts

Water spray

October 2020 Poetry Feature: Lusa-American Poets

CAROLYN SILVEIRA
In Portugal, they were gifting traditional / dogs to goatherds who had lost / their way. My father was no / goatherd. My father, far away / in California had nightmares / about blackberries: They rose early to pick him / clucking in Portuguese, which he could not,/ would not understand.

Brazilian Poets in Translation

ELIANE MARQUES
Don’t carry large umbrellas (neither at night nor during the day) / They might seem to be an AR-15 rifle or an HK submachine gun / Don’t use drills / They can be confused with a pistol and the bullets being fired / Don’t carry bags / They can suggest that you’re carrying a bomb

poetry feature image

October 2020 Poetry Feature: JinJin Xu

JINJIN XU
And another alights on the sidewalk, / another alights, I step around their outlines / into our next life - om mani padme hum / you emerge from the red dawn to shake open my life, / upside down, flying dust, you unlock / the red cell, cameras light up one by one