Brick 97


Brick 97

Earlier each day comes the light

and our appetite, the terror that we are,

shines darkly in every living thing.



The drought intensifies, its yammer

wilder, more dimensionless: no one

is listening and everything



is listened to: each keystroke, every flutter

in the grid. Our confected optimism and

our medicated sleep.



What is it that we have not seen

and think we can in this way see

—our innocence? the cartoon



of our harmlessness? how hard we tried?

Invisible, the benediction of the alders,

their sprightly shade.



In the shallows, thought

unfurls itself: dazed, sunburnt,

querulous. What does it want?



Fat. Sugar. The world’s neck

motionless beneath its foot. It wants

to understand. But everywhere



the glare of meaning’s absence.

Gunfire’s distant thud and clack.

The rain that never comes.

Brick 97

Jan Zwicky’s new collection of poetry, The Long Walk, will be published in the Oskana Series from University of Regina Press this fall. Her books of philosophy include Wisdom & Metaphor, Lyric Philosophy, and Alkibiades’ Love.