In January your keys keep the time,
plink like antlers discarded in the foyer.
House sealed tight as a covenant. I hold
our truth with baby-fisted certainty, days
stacked neatly as closed books on a calendar.
Hours like the travel of the front porch rocker.
In March, the month for war, you leave me.
Reverse-alchemy. Gold, like youth, returned to dross.
I start to date, trace the river after a hard rain
mud-soak wash churning towards some lighted place.
Winter drags its elegy across an orchid sky,
spring’s slow reckoning. Peace like sleep;
nothing for fitful years then at once pulled under
in the mock-drop of dream, arms and legs detached
from my body. Mornings I am a crescent moon
curled around the horizon of a vacant bed, a
bookend alone in a storefront window. Single as
a prophet sent to strange lands, chosen for signs
and wonders. Revelation comes quiet as the stray
cat on my porch, arched back rubbing sleep from
the corners of my mind. I turn April’s white blank-page
– from “aperire,” meaning to open.
Angie Crea O’Neal’s poems have appeared in the Cumberland River Review, San Pedro River Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection and elsewhere. Her chapbook The Way Things Fall was published in 2017. She teaches English at Shorter University, Rome, Georgia.