Lisa Lewis

The Borrowing Days

The down of fast snow. A constellation of history. Braid of muscle. Release of muscle. The whiteness of a shroud.

The path to the mountain. The thrill of first steps, edges lathered with future, water gathering along our ribs. A fist of water spooling in a sharp place. The relentless tip of an ear. The knot in the stamen, erect on white spikes. The garden rankles with the promise of purple, the trellis clings to wind.

In the borrowing days clouds shatter like plates hurled at a wall. Storm clouds, nipple clouds, shelf clouds, shelf of empty bottles, shelf of human bodies, a shelf of seedlings under lights that rankle the night. In the last season we remember the rising sign cast us into silence.

If we could have one wish, it would be that particular season. Have it back, have better. Send up into the light the outline of an open hand. The leaf rubs the neighbor leaf. Juice drips from the wound and the wound closes. At the edge of a city a hedge spreads to wilderness.

In the borrowing days we move together and apart. In the rain in the storm in the cloud in the belly on the day during the birth during spring forgetting blood and broken bone and the last season and what we watched for in the sky and instead our own small flames twitching before the wave. All this our dread and our dream and prayer performed without answer.



Lisa Lewis has published six collections of poetry, most recently Taxonomy of the Missing (The Word Works, 2018) and The Body Double (Georgetown Review Press, 2016). She directs the creative writing program at Oklahoma State University and serves as editor of the Cimarron Review. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, South Dakota Review, New England Review, Laurel Review, Florida Review, Tampa Review, and elsewhere.