Spring 2007

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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers



A light’s out
above the medicine cabinet

and winter coming–

it seems a small step
into the black-and-white

photo album   my daughter grabs too often
from a livingroom shelf.

Naked and cold

I look at the mirror, the light uneven
on my face–

metal framing the shower stall,
metal circling

the watch face beside the sink–

a nurse could be nearby, ready to pat the skin,
his smile trying

to warm up,   lighten
the implements in his hand–

. . . looking for a ripe flow.
Each year

the room where you’ve lived
where you’ll continue living

loses numbers
(she points at the pictures
and wants me to tell her the colors)

and a greater portion of space   goes unlit
in readiness.

Now It's Time
United #93

Maybe leaves turning red
lay ghostly

across a window in the plane, his vague thoughts
random and soaked

in normalcy–

when a few seconds
come pro forma

like words from the routine
lab test

that blow your assumptions to hell–slow,
unbelievable, this anxiety

a backwards ladder
to places never imagined:

the plastic wall around him
a blunt onset
from the neutral,

no longer holding
the warm white noise

of working engines...

his will
disoriented, challenged

to assume   the rootedness
of others,
a counter conspiracy

of the humane–
so that he pushes forward into the paranoid turning of angles,

the tortured fantasy
he embraces
to kill,

as any            
machine driven fantasy

needs killing–to take back the world.

Fourth Floor: Two Firemen After the Collapse
World Trade Center

They couldn't hear

through screams
in the spiraling stairs,

through noise in their minds
—in their lungs—

  seeking pattern
in the smoke  

the enormous collapse around them
that spared them

as luck mimics God. Looking up

they saw blue,    a split second amazed
how they'd reached the top,

and then it hit    this was all death:

the smoke red souls
rising into sky, dust covered souls

like tree limbs breaking and hitting dry dirt.

The smoke was a glue

and bound the souls    and settled them
quickly in two worlds.

Copyright 2007, Timothy Houghton. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws.
It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Timothy Houghton's recent book, Drop Light (his fourth), appeared in 2005 from Orchises Press. Positive reviews of this book have appeared in such magazines as Chelsea and The Literary Review. He has received over 20 fellowships to work on his poetry from such organizations as Yaddo, Hawthornden Castle International Retreat, and The MacDowell Colony. His poems have appeared in over 50 national and itnernational journals, including Chelsea, Quarterly West, Malahat Review, and Stand. For years he has led birdwatching hikes for Audubon.