No Name

What can I tell you? It was a summer that seemed to be
making history — their personal history — almost before
it began, and they stood back slightly, still in it, but
observing it, saying “the summer this,” “the summer that,”
all the while it was going on. They became obsessed with
a fountain, for example, one they walked past each day,
how abundantly it would reach upwards and yet be pouring
back down itself the whole time — all winter this fountain
had been dry, not saying a word. What more can I tell you?
Oh, everything — like how they would walk home in
the evenings when the light was soft, anything bad sliding
off them, and they would feel owned, completely owned,
in a good way, by the air, which would touch them constantly,
sometimes urgently, sometimes lightly, just to let them know
it was there, and they would think maybe this is what being
alive is, when they saw how complicated a tree was and how
it wanted them looking at it and saying this, how the color
of a particular flower at this particular moment was redder
even than the life force, whatever that is, if you could open
it up and get right down inside it, if you could put your mouth
to it and become as red as that rose even, it was still redder
than that, and they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves
so they wouldn’t do anything except listen to the songs in their
heads which were sad ones like nearly all good songs and watch
this feeling rolling in, sunshine or rain, we don’t know yet,
it’s a good one, it’s the best one, though it has no name.

More Poems by Emily Berry