Tuesday, December 6, 2016

12/6: Lia Purpura, Walk with Escaped Convicts Nearby

Walk with Escaped Convicts Nearby 

Grass that won’t spring back into upright. Sky that won’t keep its dark tacked down. Dogs won’t quiet. Dogs changing this story, hour to hour. Mid-morning. Every twig-snap scattering birds. Where’s water. Where’s cover. The end of it all very close and then not. Consequences recede then grow too large to see.  Prayers from childhood come -- for the basics, water, a hunter’s shack and no hunter, then the bargain-and-promise kind, then the prayer-questions: why was I given these two good legs? All the eluding, all the close-calling, the ropes, knives, and dusk-travel.
     It’s been weeks of this running.
     One doesn’t think it will end. One doesn’t imagine it will continue either.
     And there, in that space between those two thoughts – there’s the plan. Not enough material for a future but still, here comes the next move.
     It makes no sense at all, I know. I’ve known those very simple days, the small and highly detailed, practical irrationalities that fill them.


Lia Purpura is the author of eight collections of essays, poems, and translations, most recently a collection of poems, It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful (Penguin). Her awards include Guggenheim, NEA, and Fulbright Fellowships, as well as four Pushcart Prizes. On Looking (essays) was finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work appears in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Orion, The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore, MD and is Writer in Residence at The University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

This essay originally appeared in Ocean State Review. 

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