Allison McVety

Two Poems

Not Speaking of You

Tragedies come in the hungry hours
     The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf, 1915

I spend the summer in the cradle of a boat
the sky and sea the kind of black that Manet understood
the reds and blues the yellows obscured by crayon

in this little skiff I have no compass and all the stars
are closed for any business with the living
ink spills across the words I could have written for you

the months drag their nets behind them
a brimming catch that can’t be landed
I cast my fingers into water to grab at language

though the thought alone of speech is blinding
on the turn of this night is another where my sail fills with air
the moon writes its signature on blue-white waves and there Godrevey

her intermittent call breaks silence not repulsing
but reaching out across the black to speak of you to me


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