Somewhere day and night are equal. Everywhere life and death are, though the tilting of the earth, the number of its revolutions, have nothing to do with it. I stare as long as I like at a cloud that torments the moon like a cobweb over a face. I listen as the sun goes down to Mozart, Brahms, Eddie, the boy next door who thinks he is learning the drums. His father moved out before Christmas. His mother is making it up to him. Sticks on skin to obliterate his father’s face, the smell of his hair foul with cigarette smoke. It helps not at all with the acne on Eddie’s forehead, how nobody sees him except to look away. Yesterday I left a book on the roof of my car, got in and drove to the library to return it. The mailman distracted me— get the mail now or when I come home? I will never see the book again. I never read it, just let it rest on the table next to my chair, set a sweating glass of vodka on it. No harm. The librarian didn’t care, just locked my check away. Somewhere she and Mozart are equal, Brahms and the mailman. But Eddie, he is above us all and rising on the foam of noise he has beaten from equal parts of life and leaving.
Pat Daneman’s recent poetry appears in Atlanta Review, Freshwater, Bryant Literary Review, and Typehouse. Her collection, After All (FutureCycle Press 2018), was first runner-up, 2019 Thorpe-Menn Award and finalist, Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award. She is author of a chapbook, Where the World Begins.
Guest Editor Julie Ramon is an English instructor at Crowder College and SNHU. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She is currently working on two poetry chapbooks and serves as a co-director of Downtown Poetry, a Joplin, Missouri poetry series. She lives in Joplin with her husband, daughter, and sons.