I wish your hands would move across
the stacked stones of my ache like ivy over
the cold house so I am suddenly lamplit
and a face at the window profound in its lack.
Not just any ivy, but grapes broad-leafed and soft,
clusters of powdery flesh hidden among the vines
of your yellow-green electricity and tendrils.

My greatest sin is peering into the night as if
you were a house across the street, as if
the thinnest translucent half seashells covered my eyes
on a Monday, when all along you are better
than seaside wine. You know I am anchored,
and your thousands of anchors are what holds.

So falls the hour, each second almost a failure,
your each touch just so situated like the lives
of every sucking flame in fire, quickly leaning
and rising like a wave that swells without falling.



John Poch’s most recent book is Texases (WordFarm 2019). His poems have appeared in Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, and many other journals. He teaches at Texas Tech University.

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