Fiction

A New Selected Poems by Galway Kinnell

By Galway Kinnell

That Silent Evening

I will return to that silent night after we lay jointly and talked in silent voices, whereas open air gradual lumps of soppy snow fell, hushing as they acquired close to the floor, with a fireplace within the room, within which centuries of tree went up in non-stop ghost-giving-up, and not using a crackle, into morning light.
Not till what quickens went slower did we sleep.
When we acquired domestic we grew to become and appeared again at our tracks twining out of the woods, the place the branches we brushed opposed to enable fall puffs of glowing snow, quick, in silence, like stolen kisses, and the place the scritch scritch scritch one of the bushes, that's the sound that dies contained in the sparks from the wedge while the sledge hits it off heart telling every little thing inside of it really is hearth, jumped to a black department, hyped up yet with out hands and so as to our eyes lonesome, and but also--how will we recognize this?--happy!
in form of chickadee. mendacity nonetheless in snow, no longer iron-willed, like railroad tracks, keen to not meet until eventually heaven, yet the following and there treading slubby kissing stops, our tracks wobble around the snow their lengthy scratch.
So many stuff that take place listed here are rather little extra, if even that, than a scratch, too. phrases, in our mouths, are virtually prepared, already, to bandage the only whom the scritch scritch scritch, that means if how once we may possibly lose one another, scratches scratches scratches from this second to that. Then i'm going to return to that silent night, whilst the previous simply controlled to overlap the long run, if simply by way of a hint, and the sunshine doubles and casts throughout the darkish a glowing that heavens the earth.

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She moved her head in a peculiar gesture of the neck, deliberately forcing her injury on me. She paused when she reached the doorway, waiting for me to step out of her way. I looked down at the scar tissue on her face, a seam left by an invisible zip three inches long, running from the corner of her right eye to the apex of her mouth. With the naso-labial fold this new line formed an image like the palm-lines of a sensitive and elusive hand. Reading an imaginary biography into this history of the skin, I visualized her as a glamorous but overworked medical student, breaking out of a long adolescence when she qualified as a doctor into a series of uncertain sexual affairs, happily climaxed by a deep emotional and genital union with her engineer husband, each ransacking the other's body like Crusoe stripping his ship.

His hand had struck some rigid object as he was hurled from his seat, and the pattern of a sign formed itself as I sat there, pumped up by his dying circulation into a huge blood-blister - the triton signature of my radiator emblem. Supported by her diagonal seat belt, his wife sat behind her steering wheel, staring at me in a curiously formal way, as if unsure what had brought us together. Her handsome face, topped by a broad, intelligent forehead, had the blank and unresponsive look of a madonna in an early Renaissance icon, unwilling to accept the miracle, or nightmare, sprung from her loins.

This bogus commiseration over the dead man irritated me, merely an excuse for an exercise in moral gymnastics. The brusqueness of the young nurses was part of the same pantomime of regret. I had thought for hours about the dead man, visualizing the effects of his death on his wife and family. I had thought of his last moments alive, frantic milliseconds of pain and violence in which he had been catapulted from a pleasant domestic interlude into a concertina of metallized death. These feelings existed within my relationship with the dead man, within the reality of the wounds on my chest and legs, and within the unforgettable collision between my own body and the interior of my car.

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