The Basement by Bret Shepard

How awful to say you miss someone. Months
and mouths are similar in that they close
year round. Clouds seem thicker. Gray appears
more gray. The black center of the cumulous
falls down from the weight of a collective mood.
It’s the prevailing sentiment in the basement
where you sing to yourself. It doesn’t need to be
a basement. If it were anyplace else
clouds would be real. Sky would be real. Words
would be real. Even the body that’s been missing
it, too, would come back to your waiting mouth,
your voice that until this point might not even exist.
After living in Alaska and California, Bret Shepard completed his PhD at the University of Nebraska. Currently, he lives in Tacoma, Washington and teaches at Green River College. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere. He is the author of Negative Compass, winner of the Wells College Chapbook Prize.