And when an item is covered in chalk
and stretched taut between other items
and pulled high then dropped, what it imparts
onto the two-by-four can’t be called a piece
of itself or pieces—itself is still contained
in the item covered: the rope, the line—
a conveyor of particles, a transistor
of instructions, a slingshot of signs.
A simple hieroglyph emblazoned on the board
speaks to me of direction and distance and depth.
I hear my saw buzzing in its casing, the teeth
grinding against themselves for the chance
to grind against something else, something
that gives and goes and lets go
and the only fuss is a golden flower
of pine dust that decorates the floor.
My wife likes the smell but hates the mess.
It is not unlike our bed. I take her there
and while she’s on her back I mark
her chest with the blue-green chalk.
Inside I can hear her muscle quake.
I myself am quaking. This is delicate work.
The poems of Chad Reynolds have recently appeared or are forthcoming
in Swink, Washington Square, Meridian, Puerto del Sol, Redivider, and elsewhere.