"I Meant to Close the Window," a poem by Virginia Smith Rice

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

I Meant to Close the Window

Where are those terror

ful nights we suffered

as children? Look in

boxes under the eaves,

unless attics have also

fallen away, like child-

tiny rooms crowded

with headlights that

slip over walls, square-

split by branches and

sirens. I can tell you

how it was, so yes, god

needs me (I will fast

asleep, packed into this

narrow world) but is it

enough? I ask him

for sight and he gives

me his. I ask for teeth

and he brings them

all. I am rich with small

sharp, stones sprouting

along, shoulders, arms,

seaming each finger. I

ask him to come near,

come nearer, for a glass

of water, the rest of his

breath. I ask for all one

can give to another,

a click in another's dark.


"I Meant to Close the Window" was originally published by Storm Cellar Quarterly and is in the chapbook Whose House, Whose Playroom by Virginia Smith Rice.