SYSTEM WITH A LETTER AT THE TIME
Sincerely you, at the bottom of an inscrutable bottom, don’t you think
that happiness is something beginning? Don’t you think it’s something
that happens as we reveal ourselves, our small underselves
to each other? It is something.
once were two trees, now we are one tree, now we are growing slowly
over one hundred years, who can say they have seen this,
can say that time hasn’t shrugged them back against a pond
and bent them over?
fate is consistent with yours, the nocturnes are turning,
there is music,
sounds like new pain singing to old pain, once we become happy
we will know it by heart.
know how the city rises in you and what your knees look like underwater
and why memory loops through the mind like a wrecking ball.
the past is this and all the past is connected to us it is wired
up and down our bodies.
to picture two lives vertical together, the sky wondering why we are
always trying to begin a taller union.
It takes a hundred years to know why we do this, this excruciating
and beautiful growing. With you I mean it,
remember this one hundred years isn’t long enough to be,
KIMBERLY GREY is a former Stegner Fellow and current lecturer at Stanford University. Her first book, The Opposite of Light (Persea Books, 2016) won the 2015 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. She lives in California.