A Poem By Robert Andrew Perez

ode

on film, it’s a fountain lit from behind erupting or a story-high wave’s motion barely foiled by indifferent coastline. that is, always water, always upward then the inevitability of gravity, always light then always less light.

not in the movie, what is bright is internal. usually in a dim room, though sometimes pitch dark, the brightness can never be seen.

perhaps that’s its source of power: an unseeable phantom with unmistakable presence, a presence that violates the peace of the body then leaves, abruptly, only an asymptotal approach to numbness we call linger.

with this sloping to vacancy—the body emptying din—so much room is left for sadness to grow.

if you’re smart, you let that sadness settle into your bones the way lovely dust & oil settle into the grooves of old unfinished wood.

then, when the tingle revisits, what once was merely tinder is now a furnace that burns the meaning of that violent joy the body is owed.






Robert Andrew Perez works for the English departments of UC Berkeley and Saint Mary’s College. He is an associate editor for speCt!, a letterpress imprint based out of Oakland, and his work is forthcoming in Omniverse and Manor House Quarterly.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.