We I Us

We I Us

By: Jack Buck

in an attempt to show what’s challenging to translate
I watch nature planet earth documentaries to better
prepare for death and what’s ahead for us 

(when financial inheritance is generational
sitting on the sidelines is the embodiment of
an effort to protect a recognizable pattern)

today like the birds we’ve left and gone away before
leaving all of that behind our previous selves lost by
indecision in timing to join in the sum of efforts  

(aloha family and friends 
when you die some of me will die 
while simultaneously you will continue 
living on through me or 
maybe it will be me continuing 
by the way of you)

I’ll think about that right now 
to better live my life

(one of my friends points out how poets 
keep bringing up birds to explain things 
that’s perfectly fine 
the more birds the better)

look over there now it’s winter 
it’s snowing let’s go outside in our 
winter coats and sit in the summer lawn chairs
to read your book of poems to keep us warm
this is us happily on fire 

(just like you I’m obsessed with art 
can you blame us)
it’s suddenly spring again 
and I’m in the sun 
leaned against a wall 
a shadow of you and me

(companion planting is defined as 
inter-planting of two or more crops that
will benefit from being near 
similar to that intention I write 
all of us into a photopoem) 

a meditation where words of language
grow silent to not get in the way 
its title: a continuous combat against division
the preface: a prayer book of 
poem lines setting out together making our way

(where does it begin 
was it then 
what about now 
it is now) 

almost like a mellowing out 
that nobody has to pretend any longer
humming along tiptoeing around 
the subjects at dinner parties 
its consequence a tremendous reassurance
of who you are 

(you write your name on the wall 
with the rest and look at the sky 
endlessly outstretched towards God) 

there’s a self-made myth that claims
it’s of the heroic individual 
I disagree 
it was always our collective effort

Jack C. Buck lives in Boise, Idaho. He is the author of the books Gathering View and Deer Michigan.

You can find Jack at @Jack_C_Buck on Twitter.

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