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Long Beach, CA

Finishing a Book

Poetry Blog

Finishing a Book

Brandon Cook

The last pages
The last page
The pang and sting and the sitting

And then I feel the holy hush of the morning rumbling
In the air outside the window
Holding its own weight with such delicate balance
A hippo on one foot on a high-wire
Like you’d see in one of my children’s books
The sun the stars, the moonlight and galaxies pressing down on the morning
While the faint freeway hum moves through the ether like a serpent
Reminding me the world does not stop
The world keeps rolling and the trucks and the longing roll along with it

But this room has become its own holy place
The bush burning one more moment
And another
And another
As long as I will not turn the page
As long as I can sit and feel the pain
And the ecstasy that is almost touching the place
Where broken shards become one whole piece again 

I sit like Moses holding his staff against the seas
Holding it
Holding it to keep the waters at bay

Then shutting and standing
And the sound of many waters rush back in
And inside me
This density of human person and the weight
Of stars burning, longing to burn free
And the great mystery that we will walk around today
Poets all, who have no time to set in pen
All this longing
Even the writers unable to write the best of them
For having to make things work
Having to make it all work, before the end

Inside us, these tomes and poems, written in blood and bone
Which we will each hide away, to do our work
Sitting implacably pale and placid
Fierce and furious, on the freeway