SUNY Jefferson
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Bruce Hakes Jr.

Why can't I write about you?
I think enough about you:
your autumns, your snow laden pines,
your silent snowfall sunrises,
your end of summer amber moons.
I think on those days beside the Black River
reading Gillan, Ginsberg, Rimbaud,
the signs in the stones, its shifty water.
How I found myself absent contemplation,
more peaceful than a sleeping seagull.
I haven't yet begun to thank you for that.
But this isn't the time for thanks.
I remember a professor saying that Hemingway
once said something about never writing
about a place until you're miles, an ocean away.
I think the quote had to do with perspective...
plucking insight from distances
like you would apples from an orchard.
I tremble more than a farmer
who wakes to an early fall frost
when I look down those distant roads.
How my basket is empty.
I'm away--away--too far away--
so far that sentimentality has begun to rot
our memories like a store of apples
intended from cider and spiced donuts.
How my basket is empty.
I'm away--away--too far away
that the small bus stop I waited outside of
for a taxi to the local college campus
is a fly on the side of a glass of wine
I poured but couldn't bring myself to drink.