Evergreen v by Michael Homolka

It weighs on me         Dad
this outline of history

light at the base of the sky
and an image of solitude         climbing the ledge

It weighs on me

that you don’t give
importance to the summer moon

or the forest’s pine-needled floor

A room away
my mother sleeps         the curtains waver

The landscape is very peaceful
its purple mantle sinking

an entrance to elusive meaning
the lion         the ox         the eagle

the man         That you do not

the plants and flowers of the east
It weighs on me

Wind all night         my mother sleeps
Her room wavers under my knees

Many men in the hills
bending under the weight of packs         Dad

white at the mouth of the laurel
our most assured gestures         our clearest ideas

the heart of
everything we thought

balanced on the middle of a bridge

I hold the edge
of the curtain in my mouth         it tastes

of nightgown

Lambs wander
the remains of the wood

leafy crests of the acanthus cluster
and black parts below         I too

was someone else

lamps turned off         my mother
a room away

where earlier I lay at her feet

The men wait up
by turned-off lights         Dad

mystical sky         false entity
husband of the hillside sarcophagus

I too was overwhelmed
by innate

drunkenness         and incurable
truth to pass

The rocks and the lambs
and fountains to the east         I was merely

the gestures

rivers flowing down
to a bridge at the base of the house

where my mother’s eyelashes
trickle along as she sleeps

Bent below
the weight of packs

the face of the mountain
it weighs on me

the wrong remains         the meaning ruffled
by light waves

I’ll be the ledge         you be the lookout

Dad         I will not
return for you


Michael Homolka’s poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in publications such as Denver Quarterly, Parnassus, Ploughshares, Southern Humanities Review, The Threepenny Review, and Witness. He grew up in Los Angeles and works in book production in New York City.