(scrap paper collage of a bird) You rest here for a bandaged moment, now that you are made of paper and finally close enough to touch. Like this page I carry with me everywhere, folded so the print faces inward and the words touch each other gently in the dark and the blankness of the opposite side shines out like the answer to a question I didn’t know how to ask. Outside, the morning is graphite, and scumbled past the closest branches where one thin one, birdless, rocks its loss. Still you tell me you are here for as long as it takes to reach the center of the coldest lake, a place without boats where everything simples to water, water, sky. You tell me there is a blue I can’t imagine: past pilot light, past winter afternoon. A woman might melt her knees to rocky ground like swallows descending, a child call her mother through a window left open to quiet rain. The water is wide, I can’t cross over. And still you offer your paper wings where they remember sap and bark and lignin, before the broken doorknob comes apart in my hand and there is no way back to the room where we slept and our dreams forgave us.
Kasey Jueds’s first book of poems, Keeper, won the 2012 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her work can be found in American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Narrative, Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review and Pleiades. She lives in Philadelphia with one human, a spotted dog, and many houseplants.