High Rise

Madison Jones iv Click to

Madison Jones is a Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Florida, working on a doctorate focused on place writing and environmental rhetoric.  Reflections on the Dark Water, his second poetry collection, was released in the spring of 2016 (Solomon & George).  Recent poems have appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and Greensboro Review.  He coedited Writing the Environment in Nineteenth Century American Literature (Lexington, 2015).  His articles and reviews have appeared in Merwin Studies, The Journal, storySouth and elsewhere.  Visit his website: ecopoiesis.com.

Walking downtown, past twenty stories about
what used to be a pasture, without the shadow

of a single tree, I am wondering how I could leave
the casements of my life wide open, screens hanging

from their frames by a screw, how to let the morning
come dragging in whenever it damn well pleases,

without a question for it on my lips, how to break down
those years I have stacked around myself like mud bricks,

to find the humid afternoon we rode our bicycles
down the long path. The air was full of lavender and ash.

Leave the walls unfinished, so the scent of wild onion drifts
like autumn leaves when the neighbor mows, so the outside

might find a way into the tiny rooms I inhabit, amber
sunlight like a river, swallowing everything in its flow,

sweeping motes of dust collecting on my shelves,
littered by those who come and go, their rubber soles

scarcely marking the floorboards. Strip the insulation,
handful by powdery handful, crumble the insulae

of my loneliness, its ceiling blocks my silver glimpse,
the skyline contours of the other world.


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