Cautions for the Incarnate
Here is the stairway from that dream
where you return to the earth
and push through a warm membrane
into the house where you slept as a child.
Will you remember the soft bodies,
aching snug in their cloaks of breath?
Will you remember what always frightens you
when you look from the upper window?
Will you remember the scarlet wells inside mirrors?
Do not forget that the sounds you startle awake,
the turbines thumping in the basement
and the squeal of a rusty gate,
are only your heart discovering time,
your feet on the steps
learning to describe space by falling usefully.
James Owens's most recent collection of poems is Mortalia (FutureCycle Press, 2015). His poems, stories, and translations appear widely in literary journals, including publications in The Fourth River, Kestrel, Tule Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Southword. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in Indiana and northern Ontario.