The following is a poem from Big
Back Yard by Michael Teig, published by BOA Editions, Ltd. in
The Second Act
And now the evening settles like a
giant body into a bath,
exhaling clouds and car-lights—coughing out birds.
After inspecting the windows for hours
I tried the door.
Only boondocks grow here by the riverbank.
I will say it's cold. In the near
a dog makes a marvelous sound racing past.
One time I thought the things I love
would fit inside a hatbox,
inside a quintet as they round a difficult corner
inside a T-shirt or a sentence.
They'd fit inside a station wagon then drive around for hours
just hoping for radio stations, hands
like jibs out the windows.
One time it seemed as if our lives were shot from above
the shiny O's of our heads almost
before rain edits out what's left of the evening.
Now it seems mostly landscape,
falling away like a parachutist in reverse
just the reliable stew of sky, something
left by a plane.
That dot could be the companion I meant to know
it could be the Rockies or a kiss.
Once the world shrinks like this to a recognizable gesture,
a handshake, a pool-ball, it often
slips out the door.
I'm trying to learn how to see this coming
that after someone says "bye"
I'm supposed to hang up,
that once the lights go out there's not alway's a movie.
—Reprinted with permission from BOA Editions, Ltd. © 2003 Michael Teig.