Bridge

By Cody Deitz

Poem

In the dark corners of my apartment
I see my brother, thin and tall
like a flesh-covered bridge,
standing in a shadow he’s somehow come to own.
I can hear his voice, see his broad shoulders
at the jail telephone,
one hand holding onto the aluminum cord
and the other pressed up against the wall,
his rough knuckles white like brick.
And now I’m in his shadow
and we are together
and I put on another pot of coffee
because it’s going to be a long night crossing
this nervous bridge, my anxiety rattling
around in me like a pill-bottle almost empty.
I’ll need help if I’m going to make it,
if I’m going to land this plane on the runway
that is reality out of the sky that is my head,
which, now, is more like black ice and I’m
the car, too. All this dark cannot compare
to your dark, I’m sure. Your dark has teeth. I just hope
we can open our eyes before the moon lies down
and makes all the werewolves human again,
so I can see you through the dark and we
can be more than just metaphors like needles and open windows
and your shoes left by the door, more than
hand rails and abandoned buildings,
because I can’t ever reach you through all this language,
can’t build a bridge that will support my weight,
keep me from falling into the obsidian night.

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CODY DEITZ hails from Southern California but currently resides in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he is a Ph.D. student in English at the University of North Dakota. In his poetry, he explores the spaces between physical geography and the metaphysical inner spaces it influences. In that way, he is very much a poet of place, but he is also invested in language itself—its capacity to bridge the gap between one person and another.  He is a recent winner of the Academy of American Poets University Prize, and his poetry and translations have been published or is forthcoming in various literary journals including Ellipsis, Literary Orphans, NAILED, the North Dakota Quarterly, and others. His first chapbook, Pressed Against All That Nothing, was published by Yak Press. When not writing, reading, or teaching, Cody spends his time with his wife prowling the city for good food, working on cars, and avidly playing video games.

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