By C. Wade Bentley
Featured Art: Variations in Violet and Grey—Market Place, Dieppe by James McNeill Whistler
It’s not so much a heaviness,
the oppressive weight of wet wool;
instead, it’s as though my molecules
are moving outward from the center,
mimicking the universal flight
from the Big Bang—though I hear
how grandiose that sounds.
It’s just that the edges become indistinct
and you may begin to see the busy streetlife
right through me, in patches
of color and noise and volition. And soon
I am mixing with the pollen of elms,
the billion billion motes of skin cells
catching fire in the afternoon.
So when I tell you it is almost painful
to see that precariously pregnant young woman
climb the steps to her brownstone, hear
the cans of olives and jars of ragu
clatter and shatter against the wrought iron
because some idiot failed to double-bag,
and that now here I am stooping to help,
here I am cursing bag boys the world round, insisting
that she (Antonia) sit; when I tell you I can actually feel
my joints re-knitting, cells lining up again
with their proper organelles, feel gravity
pulling on these coalescing and corporeal tissues—
you will understand, perhaps, that I am not altogether
happy to be back, but I am here.
C. Wade Bentley teaches writing at Salt Lake Community College and Weber State University. Recent poems of his have appeared in Green Mountains Review, Pebble Lake Review, Cimarron Review, Best New Poets 2007, Jabberwock Review, The Cortland Review, and Connecticut Review.
Originally published in NOR 6