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by David Hathwell

It’s falling heavily now, as they said it would,
in splashing thuds against the northern windows,
brutally, as if it would break and enter.
Precedence insists that it won’t (I am too awake)
but brings to mind that fine, must-bearing splatter,
impossible to expunge, and those widening gaps
between glass and rattling frame above the desk—
its shaded lamp, a book left open, the day’s work.

Otherwise, readiness: the pan and newspaper
where they should be on the kitchen floor,
below the puddle-shaped stain overhead,
the rolled towel against the threshold of the door—
in truth, a worn, makeshift readiness, surprised
each time by the need for a new defense, permeable
as the windows, the door, the ceiling, the roof.
The world is ending and here I lie, armed with
unwilled consciousness, wariness, calculation—prose.

When I was a boy, new rain fell like grace,
a gathering presence, unbidden, bestowing assurance,
in whispers rising nearly to song, that darkness,
silence, the reaches of the sky—the invisible and
incalculable—hold no harm, no harm at all, for you.
All is safely where it should be. Sleep.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 1.

David HathwellDavid Hathwell is a former English teacher living and writing in the Bay Area. He has degrees in English, from Stanford and Columbia, as well as an advanced degree in music theory, from CUNY, and is now a piano student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.His work has appeared in Slant, Measure, The Chaffin Journal, California Quarterly, and Cordite Poetry Review, and will appear in the new literary journal, as yet unnamed, of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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