Landfall breaks the wave into a scythe
***** of fragments or some such frail,
defiant gesture, some figure on a field
***** of battle. Where water goes so too
the glass whose breakage if not rapture is
***** our own. And so we stare into the sea
for analogies, friends, to give the reckless
***** temperament a photographic stillness,
and then another, design after design
***** inside their frames to open up what ails us.
When I think of those who looked out
***** on the same stretch of ocean, I feel
small. My skin turns the color of water.
***** The objects in the room begin to complain.
They need to be seen, to turn into words,
***** to rise from the furrowed graves of books,
thinking a breath or two would make them stronger.
***** When I am lost, the voice gets louder.
A cold mist dissolves in one great shiver
***** over the window at dawn. What a wave
desires shatters the form, never the water.
Bruce Bond is the author of thirty-four books including, most recently, Patmos (Juniper Prize, UMass, 2021), Behemoth(New Criterion Prize, 2021), Liberation of Dissonance (Schaffner Award for Literature in Music, Schaffner, 2022), andInvention of the Wilderness (LSU, 2023), plus two books of criticism Immanent Distance(U. of Michigan, 2015) and Plurality and the Poetics of Self(Palgrave, 2019). Among his forthcoming books are Therapon (inspired by Emmanuel Levinas and co-authored with Dan Beachy-Quick, Tupelo) andVault (Richard Snyder Award, Ashland). Other honors include the Crab Orchard Book Prize, the Elixir Press Poetry Award, the Tampa Review Book Prize, the Lynda Hull Award, two TIL Best Book of Poetry awards, fellowships from the NEA and the Texas Institute for the Arts, and seven appearances in Best American Poetry. Presently he teaches part-time as a Regents Emeritus Professor of English at the University of North Texas and performs jazz and classical guitar in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.