Two Love Poems
The View from Up Here
by Major Jackson
At sunset winter mountains reach
across the page long as a look of love.
Sometimes my hands want
all of your syllables.
I walk in kindness
when you’re around
which is to say I’m feeling Eastern.
I gather myself unto myself
because you hunger
for golden peaks.
Night gently offers its diamonds
which we stash in silent mumblings.
When you speak, I feel unburied
yet hear still the dead of my own house.
No one cares that I count your eyeblinks.
No one cares about all this hard water.
The hours are tall as polar caps,
and I quicken inside your name.
On Hawk Mountain, Vermont
by Didi Jackson
I am parting with the sun
that like a Greek oracle
descends the temple of mountains
before me. Their silhouette
darkens to Oxford blue,
elides the current of the sky
until I no longer see
crest or peak. After moving up
from the South, how much should I know
of coniferous trees or of chickadees
who play their winter song of fee bee, fee bee,
the last note toppling an octave from the first
like a softly closing door.
The Northern sky stands so straight,
it uses the largest pines for crutches;
they bend under its weight.
We have a friend who isn’t happy
I’m white. With him, though, the road
is just sampling the sound of the rain.
So my husband and I hold hands
as often as we can,
each finger erupting a new continent.
But in the early evening,
I worry that if pulled over,
when my husband lifts his empty hands
he is lifting only his blackness.
At this hour a chickadee cries
in staccato: dee dee dee, dee dee dee.
I wonder how it knows my name
before I look at our marriage
in the milky evening light.