When I first met him, it was the river,
frost on the windows in the morning, olive oil.
Then bread and wine, the mountains.
Coffee, comfortable chairs. Lights. When he loves,
he loves so fully, it’s as if the world did not
exist for him before the sound of dried leaves
on the sidewalk or the moon quietly rising.
He has brought every small joy with him,
a tender trail marking the way to here: today,
late afternoon when the sky fills and the trees
start to scratch. Watch him marvel at the color gray.
Katherine Bode-Lang was born and raised in western Michigan. She is the 2014 winner of The American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize; The Reformation will be published this fall. Her chapbook, Spring Melt (Seven Kitchens Press), placed second in the 2008 Keystone Chapbook Contest and earned the New England Poetry Club’s Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. She has published in numerous journals, including The American Poetry Review, The Mid-American Review, Beloit, The Cincinnati Review, and Subtropics. Katherine earned her MFA in poetry at Penn State University, where she is now an IT Trainer in the Office of Research Protections. She lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, Andrew.