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About this Poem 

"My wife’s name is Sommer. We were married in winter at a courthouse in Denver after spending a total of only 19 hours together. The following day, at a packed art gallery downtown, I read this poem for her. The poem repeats in reverse order each of its lines starting from the exact center; it’s a form I stole from Peter Gizzi’s ‘Vincent, Homesick for the Land of Pictures.’"
—Noah Eli Gordon

Summer in Winter in Summer

Noah Eli Gordon

The bottom teeth of summer

in winter, braided into

whomever stood on the green green bridge watching her shadow lengthen.

Sun-pocket. Sunflower. Seedling, you

brittle blossoming something the room clears of dailyness.

Daily, the bottom teeth of summer

in winter, chewing through

ropes, raree show rapunzeled, which is realism

like this that there can be. These are really happened

tell me again stories I will. I will again against it.

Diving bell in a glass of water. Cacti atmosphere.

A perfect piece of pink cake

complicating perfection’s tendency to falter.

Who left it on the counter? Who walked through the room

as though through a composition? The speaker enters quietly,

closes a window, clearing dust from the chair

to sit in the center of the poem, invigorated

with inky awkward blankness.

The bottom teeth of summer

in winter chattering: here’s the moon. Here’s the moon

splashed over two dozen calendars. Here, the kids are grown.

The day is long. The bed, wide as a battleship, waits

in its buoyancy. Imagine a life and live in it. Imagine dead as ever

walking a cut lily back to water. Crazy epic crazier still trying

to put down roots. Summer in winter like a speaker

in water. The loudest electric sound is nothing compared

to the soundest perforation. My paper life. My paper doll.

Your paper boy. Sun sun sunflower seed summer you

can say you love in a poem’s inky blank awkwardness

your paper boy. Sun sun sunflower seed summer you

to the soundest perforation. My paper life. My paper doll

in water. The loudest electric sound is nothing compared

to put-down roots. Summer in winter like a speaker

walking a cut lily back to water. Crazy epic crazier still trying

in its buoyancy. Imagine a life and live in it. Imagine dead as ever

the day is long. The bed, wide as a battleship, waits,

splashed over two dozen calendars. Here, the kids are grown

in winter chattering: here’s the moon. Here’s the moon.

The bottom teeth of summer

with inky awkward blankness

to sit in the center of the poem, invigorated,

closes a window, clearing dust from the chair.

As though through a composition, the speaker enters. Quietly,

who left it on the counter? Who walked through the room

complicating perfection’s tendency to falter.

A perfect piece of pink cake.

Diving bell in a glass of water. Cacti atmosphere,

tell me again stories I will I will. Again, against it

like this that there can be. These are really happened

ropes, raree show rapunzeled. Which is realism

in winter: Chewing through

daily the bottom teeth of summer?

Brittle blossoming something the room clears of dailyness?

Sun-pocket. Sunflower. Seedling, you

whomever stood on the green green bridge watching her shadow lengthen

in winter, braided into

the bottom teeth of summer.

Copyright © 2013 by Noah Eli Gordon. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on May 31, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Noah Eli Gordon. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on May 31, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Noah Eli Gordon

by this poet

poem
To say sleep works by accumulation is to disregard the
weather in my head.

It makes a genius of the pillow, an apt anthropomorphic
redundancy.

When the story stumbles into its fearless costume &
everyone at the edge of the woods is worried their waiting-
room bravado won't open to anything but the same
poem
I'd give you another day dizzy 
in its bracket for the reluctant circumference 
of a sad sad satellite's antiquated orbital stoppage.
You can't jump with a lead foot, can't 
anthropomorphize insect anticipation, can't 
pixelate postcard nostalgia, can't 
trace a boy's tiny hand and call him
king of anything that
poem
Cloudless sky, a tendril root, a chord begun
     as unfolding duration & one’s lost words,
a red lexicon, an empty definition

gathering its discourse—the flow from content
     to perception: language is a translation of grace.
Say the body, say the heart, a composition in blue,

the passing energy, cell,