Praise the Present Tense

By Erin Malone

& the invisible boy who hides, hands over his eyes, in the center of the room.
Praise evidence: mouth prints on windows,
his tongue’s snail on the long glass doors
I’ve told him not to lick.
Praise the cup that breaks because
I’ve told him not to break it.
Praise socks in the hallway, socks in every corner
& two shoes flung in four directions.
Praise scattershot pocks on walls, the damn toy hammer that made them.
Praise spackle & paint.
Praise the balloon losing air & tulips floating, open as baskets.
Praise an aerial view, the partly clearing day.
Glory to what’s small & undone.
Bless him & keep him where he stands,
with me seeking, pretending not to see.

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Erin Malone is the author of Hover (Tebot Bach Press, 2015) and What Sound Does It Make (Concrete Wolf Press, 2008). She’s Editor of Poetry Northwest. For more, visit www.erinmalone.net. “Praise the Present Tense” was published in Hover, reprinted with the permission of the author and publisher (Tebot Bach Press, 2015).