Graspability

“How unusual to be living a life of continual self-expression, jotting down little things, noticing a leaf being carried down a stream…”
—Billy Collins

It’s a bad idea to start a poem
with a Billy Collins epigraph.
Not sure if I identify
with my baby or the man

describing himself. Snow
falls on a frozen lake,
this day after this one,
that day after that. Owen

loves his reflection,
doesn’t know what it is.
I’m indiscriminate
and indiscreet with snowflakes

and self-knowledge
in a Billy Collins poem,
almost as if he’s describing
a man failing his wife’s

post-partum Edinburgh scale,
making her promise
not to tell their doctor.
One night spinning out

in the snow storm,
in the Billy Collins poem,
I’m surprised my first thought
is that I can’t die

because of Owen, and this
is around the time to introduce
my four unpublished manuscripts,
or for me to describe

the snow falling outside,
how soft it is snowing
in the Billy Collins poem,
how unusual to be living a life

of continual self-realization,
wonder-weary, dream-
feeding, commentary
the page buries.

-Joshua Gottlieb-Miller

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller’s poems can be found in Grist, Four Way Review, Pleiades, The Ilanot Review, Indiana Review and elsewhere. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Houston.