Saguaro in headlights, we touch like foreign bodies.
Sedona recedes against the sky’s aperture.
Roll the covers off, the coldness in Williams—
(Aren’t you afraid? I’m afraid, too.)
Wanting to know you, thinking I do,
Thinking of the miles unfolding before us,
The highway beating through rows of golden cacti.
I want to remember things purely, to see them
As they are without the urge to order.
To take the pictures down, and say what hurts.
Say we’re able to enjoy this more than we ever did.
Somewhere behind us, the mountains slope off.
Sunrise breaks over fields of whitened heather.
Let’s only sit and listen. Only stare at the open earth
Without saying why. If approximations are the best
We can do—fine then, let’s approximate.
Home is a question and we’re drifting from it.
By John James
John James’ poems, essays and reviews have appeared in Boston Review, The Kenyon Review, Pleiades and Washington Square, among other journals, and online in DIAGRAM and Phantom Limb. He holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University, where he received an Academy of American Poets Prize. He teaches in Bellarmine’s English Department.