Issue > Poetry
Gary Leising

Gary Leising

Gary Leising is the author of a chapbook of poems, Fastened to a Dying Animal, published by Pudding House Press. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including recent and forthcoming poems in Prairie Schooner, River Styx, Cincinnati Review, The Prose-Poem Project, and Connotation Press. He lives in Utica, New York, with his wife and two sons, where he teaches creative writing and poetry as an associate professor of English.

Robert Frost: A Last Put Out The Light

It glowed as if the light burned the square
window right through the wall, as if what he
wrote at his attic desk, pages he filled
with all the tension one could feel in life,
could not be held in a single human dwelling.
That night no moon pulled at the tides, reshaped
the earth's spheroid into some oval shape
about to burst, a fruit the thinnest skin
holds whole until there's nothing but the pop
when the universe's sheet stretches itself out.
His wife may be asleep in a lower room
or she may not. The children have grown old,
others died young. Or never lived. Each pause
to think of them is like the frozen image
of this night, this house, this barely lit snow-world
that is about to end as all things must.
Now Frost, beneath that roof, its snow pulled taut
as a sheet tucked under a mattress edge
and stretched from gutter to peak, as white tonight
as Lazarus's perfumed winding sheet,
Frost writes some lines about the ocean's white
and raging foam. He does not know someone
stands on the road and thus cannot surmise
how many might be waiting on his words,
how many will fade into some larger night
when, leaving his desk, he puts out that light.


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