Seth Landman


It will be June and the days
will not yet have crested.
A comet will go across the sky
and our lives will flood
with interesting predicates.
We will see movies when it’s too hot,
carrying candy bars and sweaters
into cool auditoriums.
When it is The Finals, the sun
will be hot and the bugs fierce.
One day, driving on a back road
out in the country, the sun going
down and bats diving and almost
invisible, a little bit of purple
will surround the roof of a barn
and fill us as inscrutably as God.
Our lives will be separate particles
significant as major castles
in worlds that could only be fiction,
and we will struggle to even see
one another we mean so much.
We will not see the coming winter
or the one just passed
not so long ago
as it sometimes seems.
Our dreams will get stranger to us
subjecting the first moments
of new mornings
to deep confusions.
We will wonder which of all possible
lives would have been the sweetest
to have undertaken, and comfort
ourselves that really nothing could
have been any other way.
We will break up at the memory
of past loves that disappeared
when we were unable or unwilling
to tend to them, and stop by the side
of the road for local produce
to sauté with butter and salt
for whichever friends happen
to be around. In daydreams
we will seriously consider the implications
of the dominant storylines
of the ongoing postseason,
never quite knowing exactly
what we will remember
and what will slip away
with the passing years
when we will have moved on
to other towns and feelings
spurred ahead by whim
and emotional pain
and the vagaries of gainful employment.
The dust will settle on the windowsill
and in the morning sunlight we will remember
again to water the plants,
again to get some work done today,
again to buy better groceries,
again to contact the friends we’ve neglected,
again to try to forgive. We will say
out loud, perhaps, in the shower
sometimes, that we may in fact be good
as we are
here in a different century
from when we were born.
We will let in what affirmations we can.
We will yelp a little when we feel
as though we have willed
an event to occur. We will point out
what we would have done
and how we would have done it.
We will go to visit our parents
and it will be difficult there to remain
calm in the face of all we have done
and all we have been.
Our lives will feel to us
like plants in a dry time,
and it will seem absurd to us
that we could have ever been
truly happy in any past
or that we will be again
in any imagined future.
We will remember how the playoffs began
back in the month of April
when the leaves on the trees
had not quite yet begun to bud,
and be astonished in the present moment
at what a miracle time is
for the way it organizes us
and how horrible time is
for how it reminds us of ourselves
even as it pushes us away.

Seth Landman is the author of four chapbooks and the full-length poetry collections Confidence (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2015) and Sign You Were Mistaken (Factory Hollow Press, 2013). He sometimes writes about the NBA for The Peach Basket.