Jos Charles

Jos Charles


I too have fallen into that pit.
Choked on the air we spit.

Covered the door in foil or sheet,
incomprehensible lettering. 

Said, the best yards have three dogs
in it. Or, resolution comes from 

the struggle that birthed it.
Empathy, someone wrote above 

in chalk. While the workers
took a currant colored tarp. 

Development in plain sight.
Gold, gold, gold, gold. 

Gabriel, a woman shouts,
Gabriel, come quick.


Could I describe the light on concrete
at 5 pm?  And could I describe the light?

What a line divides, a party line. Cathexis,
meridian. I bare my voice, my shoulders since.

Was it my voice? Inelegant, the light
through the leaves. Was it my voice?

Your number lit up my screen. Click
to see a profile bought back from the dead.

Weeping in the park again.
Light falling through the leaves.

Meaning is what of music speech exempts.
I burn my leaves. Bury ash beneath

sea rock. You alone transcribe these.
I am but a donkey. I follow thee.

JOS CHARLES is author of the forthcoming collection A Year & Other Poems (Milkweed Editions, March 15, 2022), feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist (Milkweed Editions, 2018), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016).