Readings — From the July 2018 issue

Beckoned

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By Forrest Gander, from Be With, a collection of poetry that will be published next month by New Directions.

At which point my grief-sounds ricocheted outside of language.

Something like a drifting swarm of bees.

At which point in the tetric silence that followed

I was swarmed by those bees and lost consciousness.

At which point there was no way out for me either.

At which point I carried on in a semicoma, dreaming I was awake,

avoiding friends and puking, plucking stingers from my face and arms.

At which point her voice was pinned to a backdrop of vaporous color.

At which point the crane’s bustles flared.

At which point, coming to, I knew I’d pay the whole flag pull fare.

At which point the driver turned and said it doesn’t need to be

your fault for it to break you.

At which point without any lurching commencement,

he began to play a vulture-bone flute.

At which point I grew old and it was like ripping open the beehive with my hands again.

At which point I conceived a realm more real than life.

At which point there was at least some possibility.

Some possibility, in which I didn’t believe, of being with her once more.

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