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Poetry The Ecstasy issue

Three Yards

By Jos Charles

Photograph by Jana Klouckova Kudrnová

sunset beach

Coughing through weather bees won’t stop following me in, I stained my shirt, trying

to remove a stain from my shirt.

I tied my leg, how
could it be otherwise, to yours.

I laid the blanket down.

I’d stand, no swimmer am I, before the horns, two of them, in the waves.

Come back from the dead,

I bow between your hands.

Come back

from the dead, I bow between your hands.

Forgive me, I am a painter, I do not understand landscapes, I paint them.

a grave

At the gate, enmasked, jar of eucalyptus and sunflower in my hand—

it is never too early
to start planning—the grounds
keeper says, handing me his card.

(I had kept, for years, my eyes fixed on floors, trembling, look up, you’d said, & when I did—

branches, windowframes,
whole air-conditioning units in them).

Beside a birchling, low,
bending, yes, he says,
found it

  a patch
      of yellow

not yet marked with name.

The sun fell low so the hour had something to name.

bluff park walk 

From the floor you and I sit, we see two crows caw in a nearby tree.

 

The one among the twigs.
The one catching sun.
The one, iridescent, wordless, backside of comb.
The one midworld in the wind.
The one with what fits in her belly.
The one with what fits in her belly.
The one solitary above a wave.
The one, draw it, she says, before it’s gone.
The one with her wand.
And the one she drew.
And the one she knows.
And the one she loves.
And the one she knew.

 

Jos Charles is the author of Safe Space, feeld, and a Year & other poems, published by Milkweed in March 2022. She is currently a Ph.D. student at UC Irvine and resides in Long Beach, California.