This is the place where
my thoughts can't get enough of me,
a flat sky, low November sun,
wind crisscrossing the plateau,
hawks sweeping in and out
of its currents,
the habits of my years
crystallizing in a gin bottle.
I am absorbed by that other horizon
where the life we live alone
encounters the life we live in bunches.
It is a thin but tensile line,
hovering between the living and the dead,
this place and all the other places.
I keep my boundaries clear with alcohol.
All the people I have ever known
are accomplices of each other.
They buy me drinks
even when they don't know that.
They put on weight, take on size
with their absences,
squeeze me into this dark comer.
And yet there's always a rush
of blood to the heart,
always a window to peer out of,
always the sky and the sun and the wind,
always these hawks that descend
from the mountains.
Hawks, I assure you,
John Grey has recently been published in the
Talking River, South Carolina Review and
Karamu, with work upcoming in Prism
International, Poem and the Evansville Review.