Logical Argument


it happened because we walked from window to window

it happened because there were ripples in the glass

it happened because the brick of the walkway crumbled from footsteps

we speak more quietly now when it’s not raining

we don’t want to be overheard when nothing’s wrong

we don’t want to be caught again without our dogs and our clothing

we want to be able to look back and make out the walls

standing above the rising water and the cars gasping in the driveway

we don’t want to have to leave in the morning before the sun

of all we lost the strangest disappearance was the look on my face

you had to tell me because it never showed up in the mirror

and at first there was no mirror only a bare wall

there were no lights there was nothing to wash our hands

it’s still dry today but it won’t always be the same not desert

where we are planning to dig up the boxwoods and plant palms

it happened because there were cracks in the glass we kept secret

it happened because we sleep too close to the street

next time we’re planting the trees that belong here

they know how to talk to the clay and the bitter elms

they know how to push the boat without oars

they send roots to the bottom no matter how deep

they grow and they keep growing and they call us back

there are shadows around the edges and light on the open plain

a hammock sways above the lowest place it can coddle

still high enough to need a ladder still in motion however long the wait

Lisa Lewis has published eight collections of poetry, most recently Taxonomy of the Missing (The WordWorks, 2018) and a chapbook, The Borrowing Days (Emrys, 2021).  Recent work appears or is forthcoming in New Letters, Puerto del Sol, Cream City Review, National Poetry Review, Diode, Agni Online, and elsewhere.  She directs the creative writing program at Oklahoma State University and serves as editor-in-chief of the Cimarron Review.