Carl Phillips

December 14, 2015 Phillips Carl



His face was a festival.  Inside it,
as if helplessness remained
one of the few things left worth
fretting for, making some kind of
show of, whatever lies
half between, he turned,
kept turning…Above him, leaves
swam the air – so it couldn’t have been
past November.  Most animals, smelling
death on another, back away,
as if repulsed, or frightened; the rest
come closer.  It was
like that, then less so.  His face
was a festival, within which – just as
tenderness is only sometimes
weakness, or how what we were
can become unrecognizable to what we are,
or think we are – leaves swam the air.

Carl Phillips is the author of, most recently, Wild Is the Wind (FSG, 2018).