Two Poems

The Myth of Moving On

We used to walk these woods in the summer
and settle sweet into the idea that one day
we’d quit our jobs, take up bird watching,
and then all our ambitions and joy
would be a red jay
flickering through a basilica of white birches.
But change doesn’t open like a trail.
Autumn detonates
and the things I love
have scattered in the daze of its high fire. 

Now with the woods ravaged 
and dark winter buckling, 
memories are spilling away like an endless 
river of stars. 
I’m lost in what I’ve lost, 
and if I can’t hold it all together,
do I just sketch myself
like a constellation across what’s left, 
step into its myth, and move on?
Each point of light insists its own blue bird
with its own blue song.
I draw a wild line.
Then another.
I’m on the far shore,
washing the bones
of the things I remember.

The Fate Machine

The city reorganizes itself
and I spot you in a cafe window.
The city’s gears turn and then you 
are down its long halls in a red sweater and I’m 
a billion little pieces.
The city unwinds long roads
and suddenly we are miles apart and your name 
is nothing but a ghost sound in my mouth in the dark.
Timing is the trick of it, we think.
The timing just isn’t right.
The city’s pistons undulate
and we’re tossed into its dark attics.
What can we do but let go? 

But then
after we’ve shrugged goodnight and 
forgotten enough of each other, 
and winter has grinded it all to a halt,
we open our little lonelinesses
and we remember it’s true
that the heart is an engine too
and we let it 
carry us, puttering up 
hope’s rickety arc of stars, blessedly 
banished, screws loose,
search lights 
spinning blind.
Heaven hold us.
You are in my atoms now. 
We are splitting over cities.

TERRANCE OWENS has an MFA from Eastern Washington University. His poems have appeared in PANK, The Minnesota Review, The Literary Review, and Ruminate Magazine. He lives, works, and writes in Seoul, Korea. 
The Adirondack Review