Allan Peterson: Three Poems
Eclipse | Flash in the Dark | Half of Breath
Something strong moves there, dark,
containing whatever opens the moon
slowly like a tractor through cows.
Now it moves, obscure within a coat,
misusing its shadow, a little last night
left in its pockets, knowing something
of the sun could go right through
like light through a jellied eye.
Size is trapped in the lies of distance.
The moon smiles out of the other corner
of its mouth when the dark passes.
Somewhere in Africa countries change names
as the shape passes over with a clanging of pans.
Think of the consequences should it let go the ocean,
its predictable mercies and the narrative,
Flash in the Dark
Dark is nothing they say.
Still, it eats away the moon.
I can be in the sun with some
in my pockets like blind eyes,
and take breath , touch it
to the dark in the pockets of lung.
It will come out nonetheless
the color of light, as if dipped
into something fortunate
so close to the hearts of its users.
There is a flash in the dark.
It's nothing, I say
to the worried dog, suddenly
breathing for additional Spaniels.
That was a close one,
even the refrigerator gave out
a minute with the lights.
I pat her for comfort.
It's only a signal, I say.
The show, composed of nothing
but fear and light in the dark,
is about to begin.
Half of Breath
Dreaming, we cannot move
the arms at our sides.
Dreaming though awake,
in the endless muscular esses
of its body, the shark seldom stops.
Half of breath is life,
the other, having touched deep
in the body's dark air bags,
is half life, life after life.
His cheeks are ragged with it,
mine flutter with snoring.
I am afloat with bones,
he is muscle, glass, and dark water.
By morning, I catch back my hands
and the other, relentless dreaming
half of my breath.
Allan Peterson's poetry has been published in Gettysburg Review, Willow Springs, American Letters & Commentary, Epoch, Green Mountains Review. Shenandoah, and others. His awards include an NEA Fellowship in Poetry and a Florida Artist Fellowship for Poetry.