low and grey like a Japanese table, said the late David Berman,
that early August evening in Halifax, I heard
him in my head, hearing the news, trees
leaves moved with the weight of it,
eaves dripped, like the whole house is weeping,
he continued, and I thought of Chris, facedown in the creek,
of the type of gravity that is a riptide,
an unread novel burning in a barrel
fire— what an ego— begging for chocolate
and cigarettes, and I think of Jameson, my first call
when Alice died, my brother in Berman, in books
back when we were poor, hungry, children;
think back to August 8th, how the storm wouldn’t
break, how an entire August later, it finally did.
Caleb Nichols is a queer poet and musician from California. His work is forthcoming in Redivider and has been featured in Unstamatic, Inklette, Daily Drunk and elsewhere. His poem, “Ken,” won an Academy of American Poets University Prize, and his first chapbook, “22 Lunes,” is available from Unsolicited Press.