By Chris Greenhalgh
I told them I’d retired, that I didn’t have it in me.
I repeated I was happy now.
Still they insisted, “One last poem.”
My love wept, “But you promised.”
I said, “You don’t know these people.”
“Are a duelling scar and doctorate not enough?”
My gut clenched. The darkness pressed.
I wanted the world to hold fast but it
wouldn’t. The rain told me that much.
From the outside the job looked impossible—
words secure in vaults with a time code, and
an alarm tripped by the whiff of a cliché.
One hundred drafts to achieve a felt life.
I rearranged the apparatus of my thinking.
Voice recognition software, the geometry
of broccoli florets, the right amount of
messiness to bring the world into being.
Light spilled from the margins, lines slid
into place, each faceted like a jewel.
You can read it HERE behind the paywall,
sustained on the page, a miracle.
Chris Greenhalgh is the author of three books of poetry, two novels, and a screenplay. Born and educated in the UK, where he completed his Ph.D. on the poetry of Frank O’Hara, he now lives and works in Milan.