• Electric

    Carl Phillips

    Winter 2020

    It’s a calm night. The kind of calm inside which,
    hours after having entered another’s body with your own
    body, you wonder Did that happen, any of it, and then the staggering away
    home from it, as from a crime scene, or the grottoed site of some
    miracle believed in by enough pilgrims to make it seem
    almost true? . . . It’s as if the calm

    contains the night, which contains
    the fears that only exist, finally, inside
    you. Each fear being different, each contains
    its own dream[Symbol]is dream the word? Vision, maybe? Except invisible,
    the way certain gestures are, the gesture of sorrow when it shifts, the way
    a storm shifts, to something easier to bear

    Carl Phillips’s new book of poems is Then the War: And Selected Poems 2007-2020 (FSG 2022). His prose book My Trade is Mystery: Seven Meditations from a Life in Writing is available from Yale University Press.

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