Thin vines creep up and
cleave the floorboards.
They cloak everything,
sealing cracks in walls.
The air is heavy with pollen.
Its arms ambush the roof,
until the building dissolves
into a green haze against
the asphalt road. An intricate
lattice decorates my skin
binds me where I stand.
I am ensnared, obscured
by the wholeness of you.
This is everything that’s left,
collected, condensed, fixed
like an insect in amber.
Pass it between your hands,
test its weight, if it has any.
I imagine you, cast you in places
you never were, in places you
could never be. It’s not hard to do:
you are the warm memory of the
train as it speeds away from me.
You are the moment of darkness
between the lamp’s flickering,
confusion of shadow and light.
In this room, I outline you in
impossible detail: incomplete
footprints, forged by a precise
dance, the way you walk without
touching the ground, the slight
depression where you stood
by the mirror, greasy fingerprints
you left, tracing your profile.
I see you in perfect clarity.
This is everything that’s left.
I collected, condensed, fixed it,
so I could hold you together.
Still, I know, this isn’t you.
It can’t be. You were never here.
Hey! My name is Morgan Harden. I’m a poet, translator, and student originally from Charlotte, NC. Most of my poetry results from a specific image that grips me or, more often than not, won’t leave me alone. A lot of these images surge from my childhood weekends spent in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of North Carolina. While these images are very powerful for me, I don’t believe imagery in poetry is enough. I’ve always had a strong connection to music as well. As someone who doesn’t have the hand for composing or songwriting, I like to think of every poem as a sort of song.
As for these poems specifically, they are meditations on how place and people define us, as individuals. How do personal ties define/confine us? Lastly, I’m a big believer in the idea that art is incestual: art breeds art. To that end, I hope my work offers you something striking or valuable.