We'll Probably Talk Before You Get This

Jennifer Soong

The tree’s outline’s
                                 the world. The world’s
outline’s the size            
                           of two still
               a mammal head
                                          through branches
catching sight


A human cannot peer
                                   into his ear
given certain laws
                           by which nature swears,
a pillow may cave
                                  to appear 

Some dislocations
                          like 32 teeth

mean to hang on.
                             A membrane continues
with various openings.
                                   In every bird
two halves dwell.






The horizon is sometimes hard to see.
This is a question of lying inside a forest.
This is a question of American Electric Power.
This is a question
                                   of sometimes

the horizon is hard to name
                                         but easy to describe:
 “(Description) isn’t        
                           definitive      but    
               transformative      … particular … complicated … being…
intentional, improvisational                      
                                                   purposive”;    or

the horizon is sometimes
                                       easy to name sherbert
and difficult to describe


like the moment the doctor asks me to explain
             the pain in my back. The documents indicate
             minor deterioration in the L5 S1.

             Sometimes it does this and sometimes that            
             and I feel this and that and I say this because I feel






Pain is always
                           and it is always
partial, hence we forget

                                       a body
follows a sight
                           and sight follows
a body, causing
                              bodies. Visions
may or may not
                              be visibly


            Since this will be through snail-mail I apologize your letter said, I read
            We’ll probably talk before you get this your letter said, I read


Since I will forget the pain

Since it will be a matter of recalling

Since it will be a matter of convincing

(even from a
             woman to a woman
                                                 doctor speaking)

Since I will not be able to stay with it to the end

              only to where and when I’m there






Brimming is a fact of life
                                  along with scintilla, twigs
and in-between
                          letters, tranquilities
accessible by certain
                                  conditions (like after-
museum hours, or
                          an everywhere there)
setting upon
                       a body the way
the sun sets
                    and resets   


              causing the storm
to disturb and drift
                          where the sky doesn’t
and the ache
               but the membrane continues
as I write
                   the membrane continues
because it’s this:
                             What parts now, not
last time you wrote
                                I read in a house
                                                    then on a bluff
overlooking watches set
                                         by thunderstorms
as the summer fell
                          through days—Not then, not in summer
but in Princeton             
                          and in
late summer,
                     though you should know
for when you get back
                           that sleep still on occasion
descends into
                          the rest
                                           the waking hours
stumbling like flowers
                              towards distant beds     

and the pieces of the tower
                                         climb the tower well

as the mind moves farther along
                                            the mind not minding        
its impatient fate
                            never running
over “till then
                          In Haste
Is it now?
                      Are you there?
Will you follow?”