I’d forgotten him. His name was somewhere
In the gravel in the circular drive in Virginia;
In the plaid of my skirt. In the sheen of the
Photograph his old uncle was keeping too long;
By the waterside where bad sandwiches were
Made by the weary. In the dramatist’s house
Desperately, feverishly, keeping old, by people
With lists: repaint the shutters, scrape the stairs,
Buy the varnish. Have someone come to apply.
Wash the coverlets & dust ruffles. Polish the
Four poster; regrout small fireplace by the door.
I’d forgotten him, and the dark cattle too, more
Than ten miles from the houses and the drive:
Fields too worn and weary with trampling to
Count or care for cattle; we, grass so meek,
The ugliness of businessmen, ones whose
Faces did not change when they came to see
The cattle. Stared at grass to see if much was
Left for eating. I bright grass blade stared at
The young girls who came dressed so prettily:
They wanted a man, and the men wanted meals
And walking through cities to be easy. His name.
His name. His name was trampled by the cattle,
Made sweet by us the grass, and travelling like
A blue free line toward the freeway. Beautiful noise
There, all a-rush like water, a noise that waves goodbye
Without having to use hands. All that’s due is a walk,
A dip to the sun, to tell sun he rules you, makes you
Want to wake and turn and turn for protection from
The dark hallway, cold, of night. But you won’t.
You’re cursed with unthankfulness. You are the king
Of an old cold cheated city, worn centuries-bluish.
Full of bells in belfries which once struck poor monks
Ringing bells in them dead by lightning. I would never
Want to live there. Please. Please. Forget my name too.
Poems by Rebecca Pyle are in Penn Review and National Poetry Review and Cobalt Review and Requited Journal. Stories by her are in Lindenwood Review and Map Literary and Stoneboat. Paintings pop up everywhere: Alexandria Quarterly, Tayo Magazine, Menteur, JuxtaProse, Roanoke Review, Permafrost, New England Review, Hawai’i Review. Rebecca Pyle lives in Utah in a gray brick house a telegraph operator for the Salt Lake Tribune used to live in. Sundance takes place every winter in some mountains nearby. See rebeccapyleartist.com.