The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

The Blue Terrance
By Terrance Hayes

If you subtract the minor losses,
you can return to your childhood too:
the blackboard chalked with crosses,

the math teacher's toe ring. You
can be the black boy not even the buck-
toothed girls took a liking to:

the match box, these bones in their funk
machine, this thumb worn smooth
as the belly of a shovel. Thump. Thump.

Thump. Everything I hold takes root.
I remember what the world was like before
I heard the tide humping the shore smooth,

and the lyrics asking: How long has your door
been closed?
I remember a garter belt wrung
like a snake around a thigh in the shadows

of a wedding gown before it was flung
out into the bluest part of the night.
Suppose you were nothing but a song

in a busted speaker? Suppose you had to wipe
sweat from the brow of a righteous woman,
but all you owned was a dirty rag? That's why

the blues will never go out of fashion:
their half rotten aroma, their bloodshot octaves of
consequence; that's why when they call, Boy, you're in

trouble. Especially if you love as I love
falling to the earth. Especially if you're a little bit
high strung and a little bit gutted balloon. I love

watching the sky regret nothing but its
self, though only my lover knows it to be so,
and only after watching me sit

and stare off past Heaven. I love the word No
for its prudence, but I love the romantic
who submits finally to sex in a burning row-

house more. That's why nothing's more romantic
than working your teeth through
the muscle. Nothing's more romantic

than the way good love can take leave of you.
That's why I'm so doggone lonesome, Baby,
yes, I'm lonesome and I'm blue.


Monday was mostly a driving day, leaving Ashland early and getting to the lodge at Yosemite at dinnertime. We got to experience the long-distance effects of the California wildfires, and they were not pleasant; the particles in the air created thick haze on top of what would have been caused anyway by the dust and dryness in 100-degree heat, and between that and my immune system acting up from erratic sleep and travel, I had a migraine lingering from yesterday that didn't let up till evening at Yosemite in the cooler air of the mountains. Even so, I'm pretty exhausted and am hoping to see more of Yosemite tomorrow than I could manage tonight!

Mount Shasta (14,162 feet) from the I-5. Sadly, the rest stop from which we saw it in Weed five years ago was closed.

A few miles from the entrance to Yosemite National Park, a huge pipeline comes over the mountain. The kids thought it looked like the Great Wall of China.

At the entrance to the park, a rental RV illustrated with a scene from Yosemite.

Upper Yosemite Falls in the late afternoon haze. The lodge is right nearby, so I am hoping to get better photos tomorrow morning.

El Capitan, rising over the north side of Yosemite Valley. Sadly, Captain Kirk was not climbing it when we arrived.

Rock formations rise high above the rivers and streams in the park.

This is beautiful country, though unnerving to drive for anyone with vertigo!

Yet even here there was afternoon haze and the fire risk for the day had been set at high.
Tags: trip west 08

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