Graham Foust

Slow Survivor

Everybody told you there’d be days like these—
you hate the grace of the industrial street;
the old outlive the young with some frequency.
Poetry’s about the way the world won’t look,
and sometimes you worry that the things you hope
that you’re afraid of will pass by unnoticed,
you unaware of your own not having flinched,
of there having been nothing to be scared of
in the first place and therefore in the second,
which, when you think of it—which is always—
kind of renders the whole thing senseless, but still . . .
Creation’s as savvy as it needs to be.
Beauty can’t be bothered with entirety.


It hurts to leave a light on for nobody.
Ditto songs about sad letters, a glass smashed
clean; the song in which that song was just written.
The mask on something other than your face comes
loose, and what’s the story there—or not there—then?
Feeling you’ve changed without knowing in what way—
time is to body as bootprint is to door—
you force yourself back into the pastoral,
which is itself forced into the summer day.
As of now you could never not have been here,
so let the evening begin in a blaze of doubt,
unless it doesn’t, in which case keep plowing
toward whomever you can say you almost are.