At home I finish watching Battleship Potemkin,
the B&W classic, sit through each montage
of demise and mutiny. After the final segment,
I stand on my porch steps with an unlit cigarette.
Chart dusk and emerging moon, each a caveat
shaded plum and grim. Winter craves dawn,
weary of midnight freeze, eager to settle cyclic myths
overnight. Limbs sag: ice frozen on bellies, blunted
stems around the garden idle as grey sky
only I can restripe with light or dark. Charcoal
clouds shimmer, relax in listless night – solidarity
with their tranquil lyric, I do not strike the match.
Inside, nested across our couch, I stroke the cat’s back,
ears to arching bronze tail tip. She rolls so I rub her belly,
all paws erect. We scroll the viewer’s guide for a joyful film.
Sam Barbee has a new collection, Uncommon Book of Prayer (2021, Main Street Rag). His poems recently appeared in Poetry South, Literary Yard. His collection, That Rain We Needed (2016, Press 53), was nominated for the Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best 2016poetry collections; a Pushcart nominee.