That town was the same when I finally returned: hay bales belted down by frost, hillsides glassy. River heavy with porcelain plates. The pine trees stood tall in their refusal. I was afraid to forgive you, alone, narcotic in that forsaken house. Bandstand glowing like a dollhouse in a dream. You were a child with me. Each year I came home from the city and the landscape seemed less lucid. The ice broke and reformed. The moon stood watch over my motel like a sister appearing silently in the doorway.
Deer in Bright Snow
Deer in bright snow. Darkness like a centrifuge spinning, pulling everything towards the edges. The trick is not to care when she kisses me. Not to touch the death drive passing back and forth between us. Any day now. Heat rises under my eyes. In the restaurant neon signs face outward advertising beer. Genesee, Schaefer. In another life she leaves him. We kiss until the windows gleam with rain or night empties into the soft whoosh of cars along the state road.
Catherine Pond is the author of Fieldglass, forthcoming in March 2021. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2020, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018, and other publications. She is a PhD candidate in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. Pond lives in San Francisco.