Carl Phillips

Carl Phillips

Record of Where a Wind Was

Wave-side, snow-side,
little stutter-skein of plovers
lifting, like a mind

of winter –
                     We’d been walking
the beach, its unevenness

made our bodies touch,
now and then, at
the shoulders mostly,

with that familiarity
that, because it sometimes
includes love, can

become confused with it,
though they remain
different animals. In my

head I played a game with
the waves called Weapon
of Choice, they kept choosing

forgiveness, like the only
answer, as to them
it was, maybe. It’s a violent

world. These, I said, I choose
these, putting my bare hands
through the air in front of me.

CARL PHILLIPS is the author of Then the War: And Selected Poems 2007-2020 (Carcanet, 2022).