Poem | Dear Other

(Vincent Erhart/Unsplash)

If I stopped believing in you,
would the lights shine more brightly,
the elder trees turn more feathery,
everything thingier in the sun?
Would you seize my freedom out of reach?
Either way, there’s no escape—
I’m the lack
breathing nothing all the way down.
This fig from a neighbor’s tree
has less taste for me
than my fear’s taste, the knotted nothing
clutched in my gut remaining
my reassurance and friend,
and you remain my always there,
quietest of quiets, most other and out of reach.

Published in the April 2023 issue: 

Jerry Harp has published four collections of poems, most recently Spirit Under Construction (2017). His poems appeared or are forthcoming in Boulevard, december, the Cincinnati Review, Hubbub, the Kenyon Review, Image, the Iowa Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Among his other work is the prose study For Us, What Music? The Life and Poetry of Donald Justice (2010). He teaches at Lewis & Clark College.

Also by this author
Poem | Book of Hours 32

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