Two Poems

by Brian Simoneau

Skies Clearing over Portola Valley

Fog burning off gives way
to stretches of blue

unadorned: an idea
of infinity startles

and fades, a dropped pebble
in a pond, ripples, nothing—

how it feels that first time
you make blood trickle

from a quivering lip, each
drop blotting the cirrus

white of skin, spotting
his cotton tee, a stain

which unlike innocence
pales but never completely

goes away. On another coast
another time, sunlight

piled above the tide
color by color, crowding

out the night, unmistakable
as a type of faith,

but waking up here
it’s nearly impossible

to imagine the clouds
passing—like believing

I walk in these woods
alone, the dead not watching

my path, like admitting
the earth cracks apart

right here beneath my feet—
until they do, and fog

becomes an essay
on gravity and fate

whose claims won’t hold up
in morning’s breaking light.

A Note to the Neighbor on the Corner

Mortality’s bite is tough to chew for most of us—can you
imagine how much tougher for the kid who never sees
her grandfather & wants to know why her grandmother lives

alone in a house with so many beds & why your beds
of flowers never bloom like others up & down the block?
The porcelain goose & plastic flamingos don’t help—

her consternation & concern for birds who never move
still raising weighty questions later as we swing & slide.
I hope everything’s okay with you but I have to say:

broken bottles, empty jugs, the decapitated duckling
lying in weeds are starting conversations I’d planned
to wait a couple years at least to have. I’m not much

for miracles, not much for masking those realities
that make my nightly dread, but she has a lot of years left
to ponder death & I’d like for your house not to haunt her yet.
Photo credit

About Brian Simoneau

Brian Simoneau is the author of River Bound (C&R Press, 2014). His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Cincinnati Review, The Georgia Review, Mid-American Review, RHINO, Southern Indiana Review, and other journals. He lives in Connecticut with his family.

Brian Simoneau

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