Song of the Firstborn

from by Ari Rosenfield

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that's the feeling right before you go; i would wait an aeon, maybe never will i know. 100 forlorn miles and a handful of the same in years, the beast will flee and there'll be no-one left to blame.

'cause i know how your eyes look when you drink; i would know your voice across 1000 miles of weeds. i would know the rolls between the spaces 'tween your teeth. but i suppose that more is left for you than was ever meant for me.

and that's my own burden. one lives on through their children. with empty flesh like diamonds, greying eyes that talk of water, many focused ramps and hurdles, many riders of our coattails: well, so long as i remember this, i know i cannot fail.

that's the thought you had out on the road, when there's no-one there beside you to sew buttons on your coat. that's the smiling answer to the stuttering letters sent. exhausted and alone but it is always worth the trip.

and there's nothing in this aging world that you would trade for it.

'cause she's not a burden. she shoulders what she once was. and what we shoulder, dear, is all the solitude of bending, all the pincushions and buttons, 1000 forlorn miles of mending to sew the nights and sounds of crickets: may they go and be unending.


from The One​-​upman, released November 30, 2016




Ari Rosenfield Springfield, Oregon

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