Brazos Bookstore / Academy of American Poets Prize, 2017

The Green Garden Hose

by Chris Hutchinson
 
Sleeps somewhere in blackberry or salal, 
Cracked, leathery, emptied of secrets.
 
But its flights of burbling brightness once taught us to burst
From our skins––our spirits
 
Frivolous, skyward-leaping, 
Tracing butterfly-roads, and wavering inside 
 
The subtropical jet stream! 
As for you,
 
Now your pulse flutters 
Faintly in the wilds 
 
Of your extremities
As a silvery dust 
 
Dithers along 
These new suburban lanes,
 
Paltry half-rhyme 
Of the watery light you loved, the light you 
 
Conjured to suspend us and prevent us 
From waking and 
 
Descending too soon 
 
Into this other, more private world
Of suffering and contemplation.