Winter 2001


Lee Rossi


"When I look for you, everything falls silent."
                                                -W.S. Merwin

Each morning I see you
            close the door of sleep.

Your breath, a perfume
            of cedar and bees, lingers

at my lips. All day I seek you
            writing your names

with empty hand
            on sheets of air.

I know I will
            not find you here

the only place
            I have to look.

Crows gather outside
            in the trees

no symbolic value
            except for me

if I should turn from my task
            if I look for you

in the air, in the blood
            of a river.

All day I wrestle
            the man in the mirror

each breath
            a silent telling.

No matter that I am standing
            where my father stood

feet gray as mud
            holding the same air.

My discontent
            casts such shadows

only the thought of you
            keeps me pressing

            away from you.

Lee Rossi's work has previously appeared in The Sun, Chelsea, the Apalachee Quarterly, Poetry East, the Los Angeles Times, and others. His book Beyond Rescue appeared in 1992, from Bombshelter Press, LA.


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