Literature 9-19-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Greg Watson

Greg Watson is the next poet in the series "What Light: This Week's Poem," a feature sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers that brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers.

Greg Watson


That day outside of Berkeley, white fists
of ocean whirling below, a vast wingspan of cloud
stretched thin and ghostlike, air
thick with the salt of summer —
in that moment, weightless and electric,

you were a woman certain
you could fly, the corners of your blue eyes
drawn taut with the confidence of a crow,
the small of your chest fluttering open,

mindless and expectant — and then,
something beyond flight, beyond yearning
pulling you back, waking you human with a shudder
sharp as sunlight through sheer columns
of rain, kissing you full on the mouth
before you could know or speak its name.


Greg Watson’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Seattle Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, and Writer’s Journal. His two most recent collections are Cold Water Memory (2001) and Pale Light from a Distant Room (2004), both published by March Street Press. His latest, Things You Will Never See Again, will be published later this year. He lives in St. Paul.