What Isn’t Felt about What Isn’t Said in the Rain

by Allison Leigh

1: The Effect of Causality

Not quite light but color. A feeling
for science to measure and a language
to decipher lovers. Who knows what happens
outside the frame? Don’t say don’t say. The photograph
knows nothing — and so what if we’re just Polaroids the cosmos
clicked hello to way back when — whenever never was —
complete with bodies now, with eyes, but blind
and clueless as ever, as if we could read clues. Memory
barely serves the living, let alone the dead. Damn — if this is just
a phase, the phase feels cruel and real and long.
I think my mind feels right but right
now it feels gone.

All: The Brand New Deal

you want friends,
you’re going to have to write
letters to strangers

— ADRIENNE RICH, “Domain”

The century of everyone growing into one
big incessant lonely. The bony
calendar fat with memory. It dawned
on us, dizzy, the ubiquitous done — that
birthday card lodged in the season room behind
chrysanthemum wreaths and china dolls
with glass eyes: one green, one gray — pupils
scraped clear with wear. What we play
with, whose handwriting we keep
near, what with our discretion
we call dead or call dear
by our collective recollections. How
clumsily we do not miss what has been
forgotten by our fingers, our tongues.

 

Allison Leigh writes poems, songs and stories and was born in Bakersfield in 1989. She won an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2010 and graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 2011. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Evergreen Review, The Collagist, Red Lightbulbs, Michigan Quarterly Review, Burner Magazine, Mixed Fruit, Portland Review, 20×20 Magazine, Dunes Review and elsewhere.