Catapult | Poetry

On Some Saturday, After All of This

there is little room for sourness, / little room for anything other than a vibrating joy

Catapult magazine · Listen to Jonny Teklit read this poem

On Some Saturday, After All of This
  after Ross Gay

to holler that the grass
that cradles my back and tickles my calves
is bright and hot
from the sun, which after being gone
for several days to make way
for the ceremonial procession of summer
rain clouds, has returned, adorned
in such resplendent yellows
that my cheeks hum with warmth
and the hairs on my forearms,
captivated by the train of the sun’s dress,
cannot help but stand at attention
much like the couple to my left
who are tossing a frisbee between each other,
who laugh when it sails into a crowd
of feeding pigeons, scattering them to the wind,
their wings the thrumming sound
of a thousand leaflets thrown into a city square
the war is over! the war is over!the purplegreen plume of their necks
caught in the light,
shimmering against the sky-blue sky
like a school of flying fish
before eventually circling back to the crumbs
of bread laid out for them
by the old man in plaid
sitting on a bench, who,
after a winter he was sure would claim him,
after a winter that claimed so many of us,
revels in the small task of feeding
these eager birds, revels in their lively squabble,
for the way it reminds him of the liveliness
still fluttering in his chest.

while my phone cycles through a playlist
I made for this very occasion
because I am waiting for my friend,
whom I haven’t seen in weeks,
who is always late,
which I don’t mind really
because, like I said,
I am here in the park
and amidst such warmth and color
and far-off squeals of giddy children
there is little room for sourness,
little room for anything other than a vibrating joy,
and when she arrives,
pulling her bike alongside her,
brandishing a smile I have not seen
unobscured by cloth in who knows how long,
it takes everything in me not to weep,
not to burst into a million dandelion seedlings
dancing on the breeze, all their held wishes granted,
so I hug her, tight enough to keep my body together,
clumsy enough to get her hair in my mouth,
and when was the last time I had someone else’s
hair in my mouth? When was the last time
there was a day this good?