JoAnn Balingit

Love Song as Field Notes

In heavily-wooded sequences the song
     in my timed records
           varies from 2 to 3 Ĺ seconds
of notes burning down to a glow

     In the space age of our courtship
           our love wore a cocked beret
In the 18th century of our marriage
      love enters

           hat in hand
singing Where are my satchel
     my whistle the times
          we could not be apart?

Why did the wild
     headdress fly off
          permanent display?
Now we are talking through our hats

      We are walking up the driveway
           with our haversacks
saying Iíll email Iíll text
      Drive safely Drive for me . . .

           Now our song
weighs enough to crack the spine
      of a musical concordance

           The odd thing is

my love for you is the offspring
      of great disappointment
           It penetrates the ovum
of my misconceptionsó

      whoever I think I amó
           how is it you
who preserves my calm
      the way smoke quiets bees?

In conclusion, our song is 2 to 3Ĺ
      pages of secret clover
           the first gold crocus
to alter light once bad weatherís over

      and in all my timed records
           your hands
are the day and the doorstep
      chime. No they arenít. Shut up,

it isnít. Now where
      shall we walk after
           spending the winter
      as larvae and as beasts?



This poem is published in Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 14:2 in PRINT and DIGITAL! This issue also features work by John Kinsella, Mary Jo Bang, Susan Gillis, David Eso, Elisa Gabbert and more! Plus a conversation with Pultizer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout and an excerpt from an upcoming chapbook by Bhanu Kapil. To order your copy, please visit our ONLINE STORE!



© 2017, Vallum Society for Education in Arts & Letters. All Rights Reserved.