Take All the Time
by JESSE WATERS



Put the T-shirt in the window

and hit the hazards. Blame it all

on the price of gasoline, but have faith.

On the next earth, even the dead

get one lift back into town.

It’s why I’d swear I’ve seen



my father again. On line

at Schrop’s Bakery, or he’s holding a sparkler

for the fourth of July.

He hands the spitting firework to a bratty child.

It’s not me. The kid’s got one of those

blonde mullet-mohawks, and his arms are crossed.

I know it takes more than loss, and a bit

of bad vision to get to grace. Needle on ‘E’

sooner or later, everyone leaves



but if one of us, so long ago, could give

each known star a name and story

I pray we’re not too far from losing

the desire to see where being goes.

Left sock stuck halfway down my tank, one heel

of the loaf left, only a swallow of booze –

I have faith anyway. Those constellations

furthest from us feel just fine from here.


JESSE WATERS was the runner-up for the Iowa Review Prize, finalist in the Glimmer Train 2003 Poetry Open and The Davoren Hanna International Poetry Contest, recipient of a NC Artists' Grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center and a winner of the 2001 River Styx International Poetry Contest, Jesse Waters’ fiction, poetry and non-fiction work has appeared in such journals as 88: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry, Coal Hill Review, The Cortland Review, Cimarron Review, Concrete Wolf, Iowa Review, Plainsongs, Magma, River Styx, Slide, Southeast Review, Sycamore Review and others.