Issue > Poetry
Peter Grandbois

Peter Grandbois

Peter Grandbois is the author of seven previous books. His poems, stories, and essays have previously appeared in such journals as The Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others, and have been shortlisted for both Best American Essays and the Pushcart Prize. His plays have been performed in St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, and New York. He is senior editor at Boulevard magazine and teaches at Denison University in Ohio.

The Open Door

If there is a dream where all of our hands
are birds and all the light that falls from us
pools into magnesium fields through which
we fly, let us break for uncharted lands.

If there is a place where the smoke of rain
rises from stone steps and the spider sits
watching the trees sing of their emptiness,
let me not slip and fall, grasping your name.

If there is a time where the autumn wind
rises and falls like breath under the sound-
less moon, let me pray for a small, feathered
anchor to hold me to your painted skin.

If there is a blue where the broken sun
burns through leaves smaller than hands unfolding
to take us from the calling water, let
me open to the gift of your ocean.

If we have arrived on this ancient road
like a mountain loon returning in spring,
let us rid ourselves of crippled grammar
so that we may walk with a lighter load.

If there is a door small enough to fit
in a finch's eye and wide enough to
hold a newborn star, let us wait for it.
We've nothing but time, and our love, to lose.

As If Any of It Mattered

Move the way a spider moves tiptoeing across the bathroom floor without the need to get anywhere.

Weep with the silent swell of stone.

Feel the way smoke rises in gray radiance. The way lush thunder rolls past the storm-soaked earth.

Speak the way wind threads through a crow-laden field. The way the paper-white bark of the birch peels like breath.

Watch the milky night of winter from a backward-facing seat.

Learn to balance shadows, like memories, on your finger.

Imagine a world where we can invite the other in.

Believe there is no end to that world.

No anchor mooring us to this one. 

No Longer the Field

but the cave where you and I gather, the cave that is my eye, the eye that dares not look into the corners of things, corners that haunt the gaps within our lives, that fall upon us like the dead, and the stairs that lead us there, unseen stairs running through layers of drunken light, through gardens of briars and brambles. Sometimes I imagine us playing there, or praying. It's the best I can do. And some things must be done, even with the danger of getting lost, again. Besides, maybe that prayer will sound like whale-spout, and maybe that spout will carry us not to another field but to an ocean where we never need blur beneath the raking light of our desire.


Michael Schrimper

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