- Rustling Mind, and: Blessing for the New Year
You lay in the marram grass,
and read, and pedaled down to the wharfat Havre Boucher where the salvage bargehung groaning by its hawsers.
You sat on a bollard, you stared.Gum in your stomach—
summer rotted away.
Night. You found yourselfwalking slowly through your neighborhood.
In that window, you saw oncethe perfect torso—smooth naveof the rib cage, two small breasts.
That had never happened to you before.You looked away.
And you fell into bed,and if you dreamed, you dreamedof the ark, vastand charred as a star.
In the village story, the nephewcomes back in middle age, raisesthe old Novak house, and pours [End Page 167] a new foundation.When it's set down, the floorshave warped and bellied, and the wallslean skew. Not a door will close.
A kettle moans, you stir.Mother smooths your hair. [End Page 168]
Blessing for the New Year
Three blue canvas coats, children, are returning from schoolalong a sidewalk dripping boughs hang over, the princess tree
the apple, and the persimmon, whose heavy fruits are all one color,the color of its floppy orange leaves, which will hang
heavy as persimmons from the tree's jagged twigsuntil a January storm takes them
or until new buds, swelling from the same soft spots in the barkas they did last year, replace what was there with what it was. [End Page 169]
noah warren is the author of The Complete Stories, due out from Copper Canyon Press in 2021, and The Destroyer in the Glass, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize. He is a PhD student in English at UC Berkeley and a former Stegner Fellow.