Verge Poem by Mark Doty


Rating: 5.0

A month at least before the bloom
and already five bare-limbed cherries
by the highway ringed in a haze
of incipient fire
—middle of the afternoon,
a faint pink-bronze glow. Some things
wear their becoming:
the night we walked,
nearly strangers, from a fevered party
to the corner where you'd left your motorcycle,
afraid some rough wind might knock it to the curb,
you stood on the other side
of the upright machine, other side
of what would be us, and tilted your head
toward me over the wet leather seat
while you strapped your helmet on,
engineer boots firm on the black pavement.

Did we guess we'd taken the party's fire with us,
somewhere behind us that dim apartment
cooling around its core like a stone?
Can you know, when you're not even a bud
but a possibility poised at some brink?

Of course we couldn't see ourselves,
though love's the template and rehearsal
of all being, something coming to happen
where nothing was…
But just now
I thought of a troubled corona of new color,
visible echo, and wondered if anyone
driving in the departing gust and spatter
on Seventh Avenue might have seen
the cloud breathed out around us
as if we were a pair
of—could it be?—soon-to-flower trees.

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: love
Susan Williams 08 February 2016

Wow! He writes of things that are on the verge- a very delicate chore that is to achieve. He is writing of things that may be becoming into being or maybe not. Our life is full of this uncertainty, this yearning- and he expresses this well- better than anyone else could,

19 1 Reply
Bob Stein 23 November 2019

Yes! I feel that. There is so much distance - and so little distance - between an everyday experience, and the beginning of something consequential. This poem crosses back and forth between those, a tiny thing, a huge thing. I can't say why that gets to me like it does.

0 0
Mark Doty

Mark Doty

Maryville, Tennessee
Error Success