Two Poems

Weston Cutter

Motion vs. Action

Some days it's hold on, others it's
       let wind do the world's only work,
provide gradual shifting that is motion
but not, according to the famous quote,
         action : and what if, anyway? : we
choose tiny motion, bare gestures : we have
so little to choose from : elemental shifts
       and half-lifted fingers, gifts of blood
and consequence : voice, a late night phone
         line, the repeated triplet of words
to be clutched tight as cash or wonder at each
       declension toward sleep : on one wrist

I wear the watch my dead grandfather
       no longer needs, on one finger a ring
from a woman I pray nightly will beat
       the impossiblest odds and never die :
on my own I'd probably shave less +
      prepare fewer excuses for the days
I'm nearest tears, days I can't tell if it's
my hand or wind I should trust move
      -ment to but this is the work and
motion is action enough : and the stark
       cry-inducing truth is there's no
on my own : the wind picks up and we

        move our arms + hands, we
shift, each of us, notes of some song.


Not Fire, Not Ice

She steps from her dress and the room
begins with her. How we've traveled
to this, all touches roadways. When we

say each other's name we whisper,
and when we say each other's name
outside it begins to rain, thunderless.

Who doesn't adore and long for timpanic
clarity? Clap of demarcation, boom
to mark a storm's debut, peal and crack

announcing one thing's start and another's
end, but we're different storms—we'll kiss
until we're without lines. Outside a mist

graces down from nearby hills +
clouds drop like loosened shrouds:
there’s no telling where the rain begins

or ends, how far. The questions we'll
eventually ask ourselves will start with how
but will have no answers. She steps

from her dress and the room begins
and ends with her, and perhaps all hearts
are imperfectly cast spells, perhaps desire's

a map with directions but no town names.
These are numberless pages we flip, these
kisses and whispered names we busy

our lips with, but the story we touch
is the only real story while outside rain
seethes, comes pouring in spurts and fits

and no one will know till long after it’s passed
exactly how the storm began or ended,
what caused it to so edgelessly come or go.

Weston Cutter is from Minnesota, went to grad school in Virginia, is engaged to a woman from and in Chicago, and is presently living in Iowa. He has invested heavily in maps. He’s had work in Best New Poets 2008, Diagram, and Willow Springs, and has stuff coming soon in the Gettysburg Review and Third Coast.