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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Reasons for Loneliness


 

The mountains are a thirsty blue. The sun

skims itself like a thousand flat stones

 

across the lake. My face is illuminated.

The wind is turning up my hair. A buoy clangs

 

past the breakwater, that highway of rocks

to nowhere. A sailboat leans and leans.

 

Listen—the little waves are lapping

the concrete slabs. There is beauty

 

in the dogged, lakeside weeds,

the hovering, sunlit colonies of gnats.

 

                                  -Abigail Carroll



 

The Undoing



 

Beech leaves unpin their stems, send

their yellow rhetoric through the air—

 

the forest is unhinged.

 

Everything is shuffling: insects prance

the rims of downed branches, twigs, inspect

 

the restlessness,

 

rearrange their wings. A low breeze

teases the weeds, the still-green ferns.

 

The dead trunk

 

of a birch offers itself to the loam, unpeels

its coat in an act of yielding not unlike

 

the act of burying.

 

Flawless is the air in the art of dismantling.

The mountains unsettle, give themselves in

 

to the wind.

 

Clouds dark as a flock of starlings descending 

cling to the valleys. Look:

 

the sky is unraveling.


                                              -Abigail Carroll

 




Now

 

Unlike, but dependent on, before;

            yesterday’s idea. A country vast

 

unexplored. Invisible thread

            stitching was to will—seam-line

 

of time. Part of, yet detached from,

            forever. A contingency of weather.

 

Synonymous with breath, fleeting

            as a wish; to some minds, a gift.

 

What comes, is always coming,

            never came; what is humming,

 

spinning, singing, incessantly

            running. The continual filling

 

of what cannot be filled; the giving

            of what cannot be given. Perpetual

 

state of wondering, loving, half-

            loving. The frame the self invents itself in.

 

                                                                 -Abigail Carroll



 

Infinitive


 

I. Aerial

 

            To Breathe:

 

            (v): To inhale air and expel it,

 

            i.e., to take in what cannot be seen—wind, night,

            the memory of clouds—to be alive and not

            know it, to engage in the systematic practice

            of becoming what will soon

 

            disappear.

 

 

II. Sidereal

 

            To Desire:

 

            (v): To long for,

 

            i.e., to be well acquainted

            with distance, know by heart

            the measurements of constellations,

            the paths of light-years

            passing through the corridors

 

            of the body.

 

 

III. Pelagic

 

            To Spread:

 

            (v): To extend, unfold, draw out,

 

            i.e., to stand outstretched, open

            as a mirror to the waves, welcome                                                                   

            the pounding, the infinite rolling; embrace

            what cannot be embraced: the knowing,

 

            the not knowing.


                                                        -Abigail Carroll