Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 26, February 2013—Tribute to Jake Adam York)

Tribute to Jake Adam York

Grace Molloy
I have forgot my wings
in memory of Jake Adam York


Driving from Gambier, Ohio to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

I imagined your mind as rolling clouds over hilltops.

Like Wyeth’s Giant, your thoughts spilled over at the brim,

grabbing a picnic, a stick of dynamite, a game show because this

was all poetry to you.


I’m swallowing words with

awkward points and rounded

edges cutting my tongue—

Should I call it mourning?

I don’t know how to write this.

Maybe poetry was like a picnic

but this only tastes like iron

and my teeth are stained red.


You were the hand parting row

after row in those effulgent fields

as I stumbled, barreling behind

like a child, slapping corn leaves

away from my face, searching for sun.

You were the wind lifting me up,

over the earth, over the tall stalks,

into fresh air, immersing me

in my blue sky.


I’m not sure if it’s morning

 when your spirit is spread

 thin over tumbled

hills. I wish I could capture it

like fireflies in a mason jar,

 bringing brilliance home

 to place on my nightstand,

 to help me remember

 the song of fluttering wings.