Summer Job, June
Winner of the 2015 Washington Square Poetry Award, selected by Eduardo C. Corral
There are cream sounds at dusk, and garden stones
brought from the lake. Lace curtains, dim gold vines
along bedroom walls. Low moon—lavender,
ravens; the scent of algae in the air;
damp chalk children left on the street last night;
flies shimmering over a small dead bird.
One summer, a boy slipped, lost to the gorge
where he had been climbing with his brother.
When my brother visits, he slips nightly
into churches to touch their organs, &
I trail him, waiting outside the windows.
If he sees me, he will not play at all.
The boy who did not fall works the grounds here
as a gardener. I often see him
kneeling, his hands slowly turning the earth.
SOPHIE KLAHR’s poems, essays, and reviews appear in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Gulf Coast, Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, and other publications. Her residencies and fellowships include the Art Farm and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She is the author of the chapbook ______ Versus Recovery (Pilot Books), and is the contributing editor at Gigantic Sequins. She lives in California.