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

poetry feature image

January 2021 Poetry Feature: Bruce Bond

BRUCE BOND
I was just another creature crawling from the mausoleum, / and I thought, so this is it, the place in the final chapter / where I am judged for all my cruelties, blunders, failures of attention, / and I waited for the furies to take me, or some such host. / But it was just another morning.

Sky full of comets

Poems in Translation from Bestia di gioia

MARIANGELA GUALTIERI
And he soars / saved, outstretched / untouched by the gravity that pins us / down / we deserters of empty spaces and heights / shadows cast / into modest taverns for a bite. / Heads in capitals / of rust. / A lifetime annuity of darkness. / Only a cry can save us now.

poetry feature image

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison

DENISE DUHAMEL
Where was I / when I was 20? I’d already been accepted / as an exchange student, taking my first plane ride / to London where I’d catch a train / to Wales. On that first flight, I sat next to a woman / in a shawl—how old was she? It’s hard to say.