Backwards Glance

from Ohio and West by Real Life Buildings



there was something that you said to me
in the space between the thaw and the freeze
about how it’s some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy
the way we will the cycle forward for the promise of reprieve

the summer left without a backwards glance
barely a sigh to warn us of the cold
i hoped it might stick around to see what happened next -
to confirm suspicions; to watch winter unfold

but by then the leaves had already fallen
not yet autumn but they still fall all the same
not turned yellow not turned orange not turned red but just dried up:
a pale and feeble brown already here before the fall came

but I can’t leave quite as easily
my bags aren’t packet yet,
there’s somewhere i’ve got to be tomorrow, and also the day after that
and to be honest i’m looking forward to the coming cold.

you said this city is full of amnesiacs
we spend the winter waiting for the snow to melt away
not remembering the heavy air, thick and wet, uncompromising heat
so we spend the summer waiting for the cold.

maybe that’s true
but maybe there’s another reason you still live here too
but bound by feet, or bound by lease
or just bound to stick around even without a binding agent
I can only follow the rotation of the days
not pivot on the axis like the geese above my head
they inscribe arrows into the greying sky but we don’t know enough to follow


from Ohio and West, released March 29, 2019


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