Next Time

If I knew the precise hour that’s natural
as uncertain weather, that’s neither winter

or spring, but something that insinuates
itself in a blank sky, I would be guilty of

living detached yet watchful of a wall that
casts its shadow in the light we’ve gained

by forfeit of sleep. I would be caught
looking up into sky’s vastness—its twilight

gloaming over this landscape, as if it were
searching for its lost twin—the one we

opened up to without fear of being left on
a stranger’s doorstep—the one who

promised us providence in a remote hour.
If only we could hold on to that instant

of weather that spins us dizzy in wind’s
brisk interrogation, we wouldn’t be

caught off-guard, or without words
to scale down this wall’s provisions

that will never protect us.

M. J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College, and since 2000 to the present, has been a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students, K-12, in Rochester, NY, and the surrounding area. She has three full-length poetry collections, most recently Small Worlds Floating (2016), as well as Within Reach (2010), both from Cherry Grove Collections; Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003); and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin, NY.

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