The light now is distant and pale,
obscured by pines.
It’s not yet time
for blood-pink sunsets on snow,
but all seasons are implicit.
All years, all moments,
future and past,
implicit in the now from which
you try to wrench yourself away.
Note your hunger,
toward extremes. Relentless
paths to moratoriums—the acute
wait in your exospheric corner,
anticipating the ice storm
which will snap this forest
with its weight.
Here is another winter,
monthless and blank,
with shadows above the valley’s
pyrrhic cycles of self-denial,
how completely a mountain
can blot out a city.
Our grievances seem so absurd:
if the aqueous wall came right for
our faces and we saw it, in all
its sociopathic, cold
finality, like the blank rolled-back
stare of a shark just before
the kill, would you still say,
“But you’re not supposed to love me,”
as if love were a burden, as if
you didn’t love me, as if when
the end eyes us down and tells us
we’ve had our chance, sorry,
as it inevitably will,
as it, in a sense, always does,
second after second— tell me, what
else is there then, what else ever?
Jen Coleman dropped out of high school. She holds a MFA from Hollins University, where she was awarded a full fellowship. Her work has recently appeared in Mêlée Live, Four and Twenty, and The Jackson Hole Review, and is forthcoming in The Innisfree Poetry Journal and Right Hand Pointing. She currently teaches English at Lynchburg College and lives in Roanoke, Virginia, with her two Manx cats.