Allies in Boston

by DAVID BLAIR

How about, anything good is an ally of love? I think I can live with that, stay afloat. While Jessica reads her poems, her neck pulses with short syllables and the sky in the big windows blues. Does Jessica do special neck workouts? And if I listen to Christina’s voice, it is even more soul-shaped when I look at everybody’s scuffed and relaxed shoes. And then Jill answers the energy in people with her own energy, speaking of such of awful things with interpretive heat. And afterwards, it feels so bearably sad. Everybody is so good. Nobody goes out. I stop the car, park it, walk over to the river by the footbridge, the Charles lined with irregular daffodil beds. I would like to lie down in the sudden paradise after the shitty winter, the nice parts of which, the snow and the cold, were an illusion of old times, undeserved to boot. Lamentably, I decline some pot from Generation Y on behalf of X. The pointed crew boats point in odd directions after the strenuous practice, floating with painted hulls you can see as the rowing stops, the drifting starts. This time twilight starts very low, at the bottom of the river and then floats up to the top. As I walk away from the twilight river, the green grass still looks golden and more unreasonably green, and the sky above me hasn’t heard the dinner bell, still the color in toothpaste or a pile of folded tee shirts. The buildings at the far western corner of the city drowse like bees in the haloing pollen light. There is nothing to do with any of this but exchange text messages with my friend who isn’t there and stand in the middle of the sidewalk. What else is there in heaven and earth? Nothing but longing and information.

DAVID BLAIR was born in 1970. He grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and has degrees from Fordham University and the creative writing program at UNC Greensboro. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Fence, The Greensboro Review, The Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and Verse, and been featured in the anthologies Zoland Poetry and The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. He is an associate professor at The New England Institute of Art in Brookline, MA. He lives in Somerville, MA, with his wife Sabrina and daughter Astrid.