Steven Brown

Jar Season


                for Keagan LeJeune

It comes to us, suddenly, in chorus,
those moments of the supernatural
June solarium that nursed and kept us
sons and daughters of the field,
that slept us on the beam and slue
of a lunar dome—impenetrable guild
against the world of wasted hours,
the taste of dry oat and sassafras tea,
the bitter husk of failure's power.

I recall those days in the yard, reclined
in my father's dismantled Plymouth
grown over with years of muscadine,
or sweeter still, the combs that spread
throughout our western wall, my mother
filling jars where the house bled.

How the draft of moments such as these
keep finding ways into the breaks
and shutters, the foyer of my memories,
as if the story were the home itself. Halls
now splintered, now daubed with wasps,
turn back to the root, the swelling boles—
the very origin of the garden's grain,
its seed and ash, though I'd have it all decay
to the sublime of that glittering brain
that dealt in the first element of wonder.

Sometimes the tune of those June mantras
boom inside my ear like thunder
beneath an oak, where once a kiss in the snow
left my lips stung and blushed, so much so
I thought there might be blood, how
her lips blistered with the same gloss,
and how my head reeled and spun dizzy,
caught in that surround of falling glass.