Sunday, mid-February, soft light despite the sun
tucking itself behind even the smaller buildings, still light
to be had and run through. There are no batteries in my music
but the cord rubbing against the hem of my sweatshirt
is something. I think of my ear as nothing more than a vibration
receptor. I think of my ear as mirror to the shells I’ve held up to it
on the beach, which explains the wave-like arguments I am led to
believe. The saliva at the back of my throat is thickening and I think
of a John Wooden quote. I’m done when I touch the wrought iron gate
of my home. Now stretching hamstrings with my heel propped up
on the ledge of what used to be a hardware store, the 5:53 to 95th
coughs up in a fog. It hisses and lowers and the old man gets up
from the bench. Ticket punched, he walks back to his seat
at the same speed as the bus pulling away from the curb
and for a moment we are in the same time-space: I am
standing still, remembering beaches, he’s walking away
but we’re both exactly here and here is everything I ever thought
it was: all I’ve been, all I’ll be: now, and it’s everlasting, and it’s gone.
I wonder how many times I’ve acted unforgivably. I wonder
if those acts appear in the spiral of infinity I am in, we are in, for a moment.
I’m not a hypothetical man. I won’t make more of this than it is.
And if it’s quantifiable in a history of chemicals and cognizance, no need
to hear it: I only want to catch my breath, pour a cup of water from the tap.
JIM DAVIS is a graduate of Knox College and an MFA candidate at Northwestern University. Jim lives, writes, and paints in Chicago, where he edits the North Chicago Review. His work has appeared in Seneca Review, Blue Mesa Review, Poetry Quarterly, Whitefish Review, The Café Review, and Contemporary American Voices, in addition to winning the Line Zero Poetry Contest, Eye on Life Poetry Prize, multiple Editor's Choice awards, and a recent nomination for the Best of the Net Anthology. www.jimdavispoetry.com