A Light Rain Falls


by Carl Phillips

All I’d done was point to it, the pale
declaration the pear blossoms made without
meaning to against their backdrop of cathedral, sky,
sunset, when “I think I’ve heard enough,”
he said, then fell silent, though it looked to me
more like a passing into silence,
a hawk entering, say, a meadow’s airspace, that
moment when the meadow in turn becomes
all but noiseless.

I love that moment,
just as much, I think, as I love
that other one when, in sleep, the competing fears
that cross your face routinely
at last give way, not
to innocence exactly, maybe more
a freedom from having to be anyone
to anyone, which of course
isn’t possible, that’s the trouble with freedom,
get too close to it, it starts to look like hope, even where

there isn’t any. Imagine loving the sea not
despite all the ships that, in our longish history – yours
and mine – have wrecked there, but because they wrecked there.



About the Author:

Carl Phillips is the author of 14 books of poetry, most recently Wild Is the Wind (FSG, 2018).