Poem: L. and N. Rombes

Illo for the Rombes poem.

Our Dead Sister

The yellow trees are full of yellow
birds so perfectly
black that night
falls in upon itself. We cut
our hair shorter
for each other.

I wanted to write
to you this morning, the orange horseweed
field outside

our Humboldt Tower window. A collapse
of thought and then, this:
the sky, clarified, does
not break.

A heart so big it beats itself
apart. The fangs come out. Look
our dead sister
in the eye and tell her: the clodhopper
girl from northwest Ohio has hung
her thoughts
on barn beams
soles six inches above the matted hay.

The horses bay. You are going to swim
in that huge, weird, dying lake, aren’t you? That greening
lake of after

You take off your yellow top, push down your absent
shorts. The long fall into the oblivion of blue.

You have dreamed of this. We laughed about the farm
market sign outside
of Ludington advertising:
onion sets 5 for $2.

And yet the meadows cooling, cooling
at night.

The improbable blackened-by-fire
cricket embers

You captured one. Black-blue and greasy
in your sweaty palm. A billion cricket
heartbeats in its realm.

And still you will not tell
me what
it said.
L. and N. Rombes are professors of math and English in Michigan. N. is the author of the novel The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing (Two Dollar Radio).

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