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o, you, man
in the thistledown way
i am, and more beautiful
than starlit moonstone—

promise me the slipstream: hills rising,
then falling with every breath
of underground, grass-snug giants;
woods cusping everything, whispering
terrific and sacred words to our tulips
through their roots, for the tulips
to utter to hummingbirds, for the hummingbirds
to carry to each blooming life and bless
our whole pastoral with a circuit of communion,

and promise me the pastoral:
apiaries, and bumblebees darting
like dogdreams delivering themselves
to farm collies sleep-twitching their legs
in beds of straw; goatsmilk you can cup
like stardust skimmed with a tin pail
from where space drips into our slipstream;
bramble bending backwards for us
to taste its bounty of dewy raspberries—so many
raspberries, like a gemmy cloud of ladybugs!

o, promise me an otherworld that is both a buzzing
bouquet of moon-winged butterflies

and perennial. a stream of snapshots
slipping against each other: me

tending the earth, my greengloved hands
up to their knuckles in dirt, and laughing
as earthworms shake themselves up
from their tunnels as you click-click your tongue
through your smile; then, mirror-you in the lake
with your arm around mirror-me, our heads so close
to the clouds, to each other,
as if i could hear the cracklestatic
of synapses snapping in your mind
and understand completely every complexity
of you; then—how could i forget?—

the straight-lace of your mouth as you daydream
a new reverie into the slipstream
with every steady sigh; then absolute focus
in your face’s stillness as you harvest
corn or squash or sweet-tanged tomatoes or grapes
more plump than peaches, a harvest so grand
that a thousand rabbits could feast
at the same table with twice the falcons.

o, promise me the dirtmess
caked onto my denim, and promise
that birds nest in the crooks of clouds
instead of trees; promise the chirp

of foxes will wake us in the morning
and that cock’s crow will usher in sunset.
promise me that the sun will set
when we will it. promise me that ‘we.’



[Editor’s Note: Publication of this poem was made possible by a gift from C. S. E. Cooney during our annual Kickstarter.]

Andrew Sinclair (he/they) is a freshman at the University of Iowa studying English and Creative Writing, and Screenwriting Arts. Their work has previously appeared in Fish Barrel Review, Kissing Dynamite, and Brave Voices Magazine. Find him on Twitter at @andrews_writing.
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19 Feb 2024

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