Dane Hamann

2 Poems

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.

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