Notes on the Covenant
The rainbow means he will not take
such drastic measures but he takes
nonetheless, smaller things, disasters,
small, so in the beautiful new world after weeks
of rain, someone slips and falls, makes a hole
in the world, hole inverted, that takes it whole,
every blossom, every quail in the bushes,
the smooth blue lozenge of the sky.
My hips grow rusty, the hinges of clocks,
that slow toward some halting dirge full
of colored lights and small voices,
rainbow crickets, painted fingernails,
parade candy strewn in the tarry street.
Slow flood, you will not take me quick,
but gradually so I have time to appreciate
what is taken—grand piano, pinot noir,
small child with glasses and her hand-sized pony.
JOEL LONG's book Winged Insects won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize. His book Knowing Time by Light was published by Blaine Creek Press in 2010. His chapbooks, Chopin’s Preludes and Saffron Beneath Every Frost were published from Elik Press. His poems have appeared in Interim, Gulf Coast, Rhino, Bitter Oleander, Crab Orchard Review, Bellingham Review, Sou'wester, Prairie Schooner, Willow Springs, Poems and Plays, Evansville Review, New Orleans Review, Tulane Review, and Seattle Review and anthologized in American Poetry: the Next Generation, Essential Love, Fresh Water, and I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights. He has poems forthcoming in Quarterly West and The Pinch. He received the Mayor’s Artist Award for Literary Arts at the Utah Arts Festival and the Writers Advocate Award from Writers at Work.