at Length

Seismodiptych: Skyline Aftermath

—Ruth Ellen Kocher

Split and splayed

I come bearing


I am a banquet also

A long table


A long table

In the middle

The Best Oranges

The Best Pineapples

The Antiguan Black is the best pineapple

The Best Pineapple is The Antiguan Black

We make conversation this way


We make conversation


From the top


Not either

Not somewhere

Some rooms dark

The lit rooms

You see a skyscraper


You see a skyscraper

As lines of light

Around rooms

Unlit and lit


One another

Skyline lines

Beading beads



More of the dark

The smell of apples

So many have changed

To appreciate particularly


Both branches

And trees

Will never go away


You will never go away

For years

It’s a unique claim

A golden opportunity

First green


This fall


This fall

Start with some clouds in the west

In the late afternoon

Very low

Any storms

Again coming up

A small chance

I want a lot more of more

You will smell rain

Before you see it


Before you see it

I’m right here

The Queensborough Bridge

Everything is pretty much the same

It’s a long walk

No matter where you begin


Begin where you are

We were out the door

The rain never came

No night


How many times

Have you hung

Your blue raincoat

There for the first time


For the First time


This morning

I found prayer beads

Never prayed with

Not given to you

And so

I would have forgotten

At all

You were here


Erstwhile if you

Were here

A name

The color first

Comes to mind

As a favorite


Meantime a favorite

A sound say

Grinding stone

Not bells or ringing

A creak

A creaking

Your earth

Split and splayed

Ruth Ellen Kocher‘s most recent books are Third Voice, (Tupelo Press 2016), Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014), Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014), and domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), winner of the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award. She teaches Poetry, Poetics, and Literature at the University of Colorado – Boulder.