Poem of the Week / Victoria Sanchez

A False Dawn

“Other birds will sing at night, but with ordinary songbirds, it is usually either when they have
been disturbed or when there is artificial light. In the latter case, the birds almost certainly think
it is a false dawn.”

I.
This old, sweet song keeps you on my mind:
our dreams lie awake, full and heavy at the seams.
and your body is my false dawn, infinitely designed.

Summer songbirds are resigned
to the exhaust left from pipe dreams,
and this old, sweet song keeps you on my mind.

I write and write on reams
of paper, milky white promise,
weightless house sleeping underneath my palms.
Here I insert a line that rhymes with find,
and there, a line that rhymes with seems.

II.
So if my lines have no depth,
and there’s no life left in the letters,
or if the magic
has run away like ink runs down the page,
and if my name means nothing else to you––
this old, sweet song, keeps you on my mind.

And if the letters or the words or the promise
have lost their tune,
and if you leave or I leave or we both give up––
this old, sweet song keeps you on my mind.

And if the sack of grain lies heavy at the seams,
and you’re not there to reap our harvest,
I want you to know:

For all your lies, you’re still very lovable.

Victoria Sanchez

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