Hills on the Horizon
based on Visions of Eternity by Salvador Dalí
Eternity looms avalanche-like from the wall.
A roaring silence sweeps across its clear-cut
emptiness. Here, the mere thought of rain
evaporates before even a drop falls.
A ragged gardener curls his hands
in desperate prayer over two seeds
that do not grow. Instead, the sky
punches a hole through his chest.
While the gardener waits for tendrils
of life to never break the seeds’ skin,
a skeletal traveler slouches tamely
across the plain. Everything the traveler
has ever owned—that is, only stale air
and light—bound in a spidery bindle.
Who knows why these two figures choose
to suffer? Who knows if they suffer?
Neither seem to understand that the haze
of daybreak and the glassy earth,
even the archway scoured bright and clean
by ordinary white light, were created just
for them. The gardener has never left his perch
above the seeds. The traveler has never followed
anything besides his desiccated shadow.
They’ve never seen the hills on the horizon
as I see them. Faint gray smudges suggesting
something other than endlessness. The two
figures wait and wander forever for my sake.
So that through pity I survive the avalanche.
Do You Remember the Storm
Do you remember the storm
we saw shoving the whole lake
upon the rock-jutted shore?
Lichens burned red with wetness.
Evergreens ached against the wind.
Rain seemingly sprang from the ground
as everywhere hung
the delirious sound of hillsides of water
detonating against the rocks.
I intended to tell you
that I would have sacrificed
the entirety of that shoreline to the waves
to watch the cliffs lose
their pretensions of timelessness
and collapse slowly into the cold water.
But I imagined you’d turn away,
uninterested in the waves’ eventual triumph,
unaware that to me, you were the storm.
Dane Hamann works as an editor for a textbook publisher in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he also serves as the poetry editor of TriQuarterly.