Time’s not an arrow, more the place an arrow touches us
Probably everywhere, there are rooms
full of people who do not love
each other yet. I arch
my back like the steeple
from your breastbone. Gold thread
on a white silk hoop; an egg
split down nothing like its middle.
Small wonder: we have an entire word
for the direction
opposite this grandfather clock’s
hoax motion. Here’s where I could say
something about my children,
the words they will learn
despite their new, sunless worlds
but I won’t have children.
& if I do, what would they call me?
My first words were nonsense
shawled in sound
close enough to mother
for my mother
to know I saw her there.
Your first words are the kind of thing
you would have told me, small
effigy, while we waited
for the bus together,
or sat smoking on your back porch
in between my congratulating
the leaves on their colors
for the third time
this year. I’m losing track
of myself. I wanted
to begin this poem
with what I thought of first
when we stopped speaking:
a bride spinning
backwards; white road
flares being lit; woman
of me bowed
like a string into an antique light.
Read Brad Trumpfheller’s “Time’s not an arrow, more the place an arrow touches us” in the print edition of The Arkansas International 7.
Brad Trumpfheller is the author of the chapbook Reconstructions (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2020). Their work has appeared in POETRY, the Nation, Washington Square Review, TYPO, and elsewhere. They are from the South, and currently live outside of Boston.