There’s an art

to everything. How

the rain means

April and an ongoingness like

that of song until at last

it ends.


I love you, he said. He was

shaking. He said:

I love you. There’s an art

to everything. What I’ve

done with this life,

what I’d meant not to do,

or would have meant, maybe, had I

understood, though I have

no regrets. Not the broken but

still-flowering dogwood. Not

the honey locust, either. Not even

the ghost walnut with its

non-branches whose

every shadow is memory,

memory…As he said to me

once, That’s all garbage

down the river, now. Turning,

but as the utterly lost—

because addicted—do:

resigned all over again. It

only looked, it—

It must only look

like leaving. There’s an art

to everything. Even

turning away. How

eventually even hunger

can become a space

to live in. How they made

out of shamelessness something

beautiful, for as long as they could.

-carl phillips

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