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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, November 10, 2015.
About this Poem 

“In Genesis, the phrase ‘and there was evening, and there was morning’ is incanted after each day of creation. I looked at those markers in my own life, how the ‘long caravan’ of mornings and evenings has brought wild creation, but also sudden and altering loss. How can a body endure the events of change and still get up in the morning?”
Thomas Dooley

Passage

And there was evening, humid
with lightning, when my father

fell to the earth like summer hail,
scattered. I gathered

my mother, we threw in
a handful of pebbles. And

there was morning, bitterly.
There was evening news

bluing walls, violet morning
on thunderheads, and the evening

when morning
would never again light our bodies in bed.

Morning caravans, headlights,
evening. A long caravan of evenings. Then

there was only me, morning. Awake in a room
in a building vast with rooms. Everyone

evening. Everyone morning. And God
had finished all the work he had been doing—

babies, honeybees, spreadsheets, winter
mornings. I said,

I will not stop here, evening. I’ll see you
in the morning.

Copyright © 2015 by Thomas Dooley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 10, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Thomas Dooley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 10, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Thomas Dooley

Thomas Dooley

Thomas Dooley is the author of Trespass (Harper Perennial, 2014). He is artistic director of Emotive Fruition, a theater collective of actors and poets in New York. He lives in Brooklyn. 

by this poet

poem

You tried to take
my red metals with your wolf jaw tongs

to forge a body never to be flame-licked again
but I reached out and held you

by the throat, pressed
my ear to your chest that meadow

startled with magpies.
You are not the first man

who tried to make my body a

2
poem

as if opening a crepe sail
on a raft of linden
downriver with no
glacial cut swerve down
soft like bourbon if I could
ask the waters then
to chop to shake
an apology when you cry
I feel a wet bank in me
ring dry here I’ll wrap you
in the piano shawl from the upright