The Softest Things – Dane Hamann

Sometimes the softest things break
the bones of twilight. I watch the rain

goose bump the street from the window
over the porch. Blue-black flood

flashing with tiny yellow crowns—
the sodium-vapor glow of streetlights

catching the splashdown of droplets.
Neither taillights nor high beams

will-o-the-wisp through the downpour.
No life other than the traffic signal

muttering its colors to the rippling gutters.
They say that solitude can be hard—

by which they mean difficult. It’s more
soft than anything else—a blood-buzz

jacket easily worn and quietly warming the
shoulders like the memory of another’s breath.
Dane Hamann

Dane Hamann edits textbooks for a publisher in Chicago’s southwest suburbs. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, serving as the poetry editor of TriQuarterly for over five years. His book, A Thistle Stuck in the Throat of the Sun, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in 2021.

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