Here the sound of a dream is the seashore
as it separates the fingers of is 
and is not, and the sound of the morning 
is the sound of escape—on the counter 

rings wear thin and rings wear thin and rings wear….
Here, rusting cars, silverware; here, a need 
to close the eyes when tables sleep and sleep 
again.  Here be careful not to mistake 

these bay windows for space, or try to find 
the animal buried in your eye.  Here 
don’t call this water to itself—each tide 
has its words so don’t bother worrying

which daydream is yours.  Red love of winter, 
your hair travels like a river, and here 
absence is a place, sorrow is a place, 
and so is your first house on its flat earth.  

Next to the red wall, you packed the boxes, 
and the fire was ashes ashes ashes.  
Don’t say you never knew what you had.  Love
of the shaking trees, nothing else is here.


Nick Courtright's most recent book, Let There Be Light, was released by Gold Wake Press, and his first book, Punchline, was a National Poetry Series finalist in 2012.  His poetry has appeared in The Southern Review, The Iowa Review, Boston Review, and The Kenyon Review Online, among numerous others.