Good-bye to Golden Nights


If measuring

one’s life as circular

makes sense of movement,

how should we muscle

meaning into days?

As if we end up

where we’ve dreamt,

starlight for eyes

and train static

within the folds

of memory. One story

arrives before another

finishes, not rounded

with possibility

but carved down

to a brilliant stutter.

We catch a glimpse

of self within the self.

Hope swims better than

it flies, arriving unseen

beneath the smooth

surface of possibility.

No one cares for the self

with as much bravado

as the mind, whose expanse

opens up

like a shorn field

before the seed.


Adam Clay’s most recent collection is Stranger (Milkweed Editions, 2016). His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Boston Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. A co-editor of TYPO Magazine, he serves as a book review editor for Kenyon Review and teaches at the University of Illinois Springfield.