You are in the diode archives v6n2




The map was folded again and again, each time
just a little differently

until your hometown on the crease
was white with folding.


It was as if your childhood
had been taken away,

as if your adolescence were just a field of white,
your birth in the folding

only an absence of color, so many times
spread over the dashboard in confusion—


memories were the sky you’d drive into
for twenty thousand hours

to come out on Mars, among the red rocks
where all the wishes you had or were to have

were on the map—would this road dead end,
would this dusty path continue on forever?


Imagine your life, its rollings over and turns
of phrase, as a kind of driving through

all our maps’ white spaces, the sun in the rearview—
would you like a cup of tea upon your arrival? 


I wanted two doves, two mourning doves
to wake me, I wanted to say

joy                    joy
but the tea was cold by the time I found my way.


The Youth

Late at night, a shadow becomes its own
life alive on the wall or curtain, and when it moves

a piece of everywhere
moves with it.  Is that okay?


In this world, it is good sometimes to be afraid.

And in this telling
of the story, some of the fish went to waste. 
They lay in heaps, the spectacle complete. 


Every life
has its own light, and the sayings of confident men
don’t make trees

subject to interpretation.  They flash and bob

as they please.  Is that okay?


Still, we are still

here.  Like ghosts in love
with the living, we listen but find it difficult to speak  


Nick Courtright is the author of Punchline, a National Poetry Series finalist published in 2012 by Gold Wake Press, and Let There Be Light, which is forthcoming in early 2014. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, Boston Review, and Kenyon Review Online, among numerous others, and a chapbook, Elegy for the Builder’s Wife, is available from Blue Hour Press. In Austin, he is Interviews Editor of the Austinist, and lives with his wife, Michelle, and son, William. Feel free to find him at nickcourtright.com.