That Night

posted Mar 27, 2006

I saw something adrift.

It looked like a man to me.

It could have made my troubles disappear.

It made me ask questions I would not have asked.

It weaved through the clouds like a splinter.

Trailing nothing but the suggestions.

No words light enough to describe it.

I called you to the roof.

I showed you the shape of the new music.

You built a dome to catch the beats.

The man turned sideways to face us.

He seemed to wave, but it might have been the air.

I was not standing on Earth.

But I still believed in certain freedoms.

And my mind was no smaller.

Yet the world grew no smaller,
as much room as I gave it.

That evening, as I stood in the street,
watching a thing
trying for humanity,
flying short.

Max Winter's poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in New American Writing, Free Verse, Tarpaulin Sky, the Colorado Review, and elsewhere. A chapbook of his poems, The Pictures, will be published by Tarpaulin Sky later this year. His reviews have appeared in Bookforum, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. He is a poetry editor of Fence.