Prelude 4 (poetry)

Prelude 4

There are fragments that have been misplaced:
the bottle cap popped with lighter and knuckle,
the blue glass collection in the neighbor’s windows,
the red porch couch, the old green Schwinn,
the wedding gowns that the punk band wore,
the broken violin and matching helmet,
the thrift store print of midwestern mallards,
the metal cassette 4-track masters,
the vinyl pants and the foam trucker cap,
the ceramic fuses burnt out in the basement,
the library surplus-sale leftovers,
the pocket notebooks full of disintegrating hours
of abandoned bars, wilted parties, dropped classes,
the urban orbits and escape velocities
of bicycle sun and whiskey moon,
cheap rent, slow clock, sweet street…

The future excavation won’t find these.
It will only uncover the way, over centuries,
city blocks shift like puzzle pieces,
never quite fit
and the picture they were trying to make
changes completely
long before the missing piece is found.

– Christopher Corbell, August 2022

Germ / St. Tantalus

The seed was made for cold,
patient in its sleep
below the soil-bound leaves.

Microscopic hunger
blackens, feeding spring
with clean decay.

In rich layers of space
is this blue earth-bubble,
seed among the stars.

Our busy action churns
bacterial in scale
for some work yet to sprout.

What germ is sleeping here,
what embryonic tree,
its branches all imagined,

its leaves spread to the possible,
its fruit beyond our mouths
and reaching fingers?

Saint Tantalus teach us
your stretch,
your fickleness.

Your prison is a husk,
your lust the force
inside the Holy Seed.