by Matthew Gellman
After Midnight, In Ryegrass
I’m cradled in the ticking of flying things
on the tail-end of the story in which
the stranger comes to find me,
having followed me through the pines.
He searches, but I make myself
submersible in these hennaed roots,
having weaved through a crippled town,
my head low beside the snuff
of clapboard. A clump of mallows
surges in sleep. Small moonlight
lacquers the leaves’ thin shells,
prepared to throw themselves down
in this frost-inviting country.
I watch him stumble down the mess
of avenue. The sun’s hands begin
propping birds in the tupelo. I wait,
ungesturing. I learn the morning.
I shake back into myself.
Matthew Gellman's poems are featured or forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Narrative Magazine, The Cortland Review, Sugar House Review, Salmagundi and elsewhere. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize and a scholarship from the New York State Summer Writer's Institute. Matthew holds an MFA from Columbia University and currently lives in New York City, where he is the Assistant Editor of Small Orange and teaches at Hunter College.