Davy Knittle

sidle thoughts

the lip of this low building
is so wide – it’s raining

it was formerly for waiting
everyone did – close together

it was a station – list
of neighborhoods where your

sleeve hardly touches the
jacket of a stranger

list of towns in Delaware
by size – Chelsea and Dan

are home on the couch
and Dan’s guessing cities

in Iowa by population
Chelsea’s reading them out

to confirm – it’s a sack race
like our turning thirty, but we

know I’ll come in second and Dan
will win with you and Chelsea

behind us, all our learning to
stay the future’s stay – Dan

weighing his rhythm on Monday
putting his knee to the floor  

like a root in Chelsea’s room
almost married people are

often on a ship in
epithalamia, or on horses

or being carried in the limo
or ferry or car: ours are encouched

and still – lit up for each other
you and I ejected by weddings  

but into this one – our purchase
on it is as though they were a barbecue

we’d be and bring just one flavor of
soda but one both bumpy and bright  

as for chocolate bars or ice cream
: orange or chili, caramel or mint

or something toasted, so our
ejection surfaces and sheds :

Dan and Chelsea and the
words they’ll always have said soon –

we read a lot and some of it
sticks but it’s mostly forest

we dream we give a lecture running :
people put a treadmill in the lecture

for our use – we read at odds with  
our body world, so reading isn’t kissing

but is closer to sniffing a cheez-it
riding a bike in a warehouse

watching recipes online  
: the shot cuts off at waist height

so it’s our guess or not whether
the Barefoot Contessa is

wearing shoes: when Dan and
Chelsea dance they’re no

longer waiting but cadent
face to face :

Chelsea knowing the song’s
words and lifting them

using them as they’re appearing
along her surface like a hand

sunscreened porch  
for Chelsea Wahl

or the way the light hits unseats you
8 am: plantless living room: final six

weeks in the open layout: dream team
pennant is the four of us: it’s my bike flag

it’s flapping out the back of Dan’s car
: you’re B’s housemate, but you’re already

my neighbor in June: the
only person I’ve said neighbor to in

adulthood and imagined their bathroom  
reroute your walk to school past our

tomatoes to say that “Brooke and Davy
live there” or don’t even have

the words just the twinge –
Chelsea, this record is coming out

in so many scales: it’s on B’s heels
all the time, slipping

under the room door
at night and incubating on a book-

shelf, or a Wawa footlong hoagie  
is open sleeping on our chests

: warm cheese. I’m looking into what
B’s doing (writing), or go in

Magic School Bus style where the kids
follow the cough syrup around in the

blood – somewhere between
all four of us is my partner’s treehouse

I’m watching B ask of anyone  
“how can I keep you with me if

I’m shifting; how can we hold”
that’s imprecise, but it’s all there  

as is this morning lined up :
memorial to the day that’s

about to be: future 2 pm object
world: face time burrito

Dan’s red fingers on Monday shaking
nested in his lap in the bar

this poem wishes it were wood trim
built in bookshelf, bird line on the

brim of the roof, assemblage of
you and me, turned toward our break-

fast surfaces: coffee table, counter
: when you go into the living room

you’re in the same space as B preparing
a meal and me looking on  

other people in your nearly former house
crossing their current with yours

ideal like a tide pool: when you  
and B move homes, the water

will flow in the street a block downhill
from your apartment to ours

for now: we displace each other
push us into a series of separate

Thursdays that’s by the end the
aggregate of who you walked

and sat near, who you thought
of or saw: last year B got “&”

printed on their wrist
to mark how they and I made each other

but beyond that to inhabit their days
as the eye of what other people form

scar wash  

I have these eyes
I don’t know when to close

the dateline goes over
them: an X-Ray

full metal imaging suit
and out cold under books and jackets

in a bed big enough for three
half the households in Santa Monica

have one occupant
and technically me too

: in practice, the house is empty
half the time

or it’s the two of us  
I want my use to be constrained

like tomatoes so it doesn’t
grow wrong: I fashion a cage

Dan commutes the crossgrain
where the city is huge. if you

work in a daycare or cafeteria
or K-Mart, its bus transport

goes away from you. Dan drives
and writes copy, heads out low density

and returns after five in the
surplus of reverse commuters

: it’s a xylophone lesson :
following the same path

cutting the drive with radio –
radio’s a lemon in a beer; erica said

let’s be fierce against music
she meant it, didn’t have to say

she put her feet behind her steps
while she read her poems in the

diner so anyone near had their
hands between “let me not touch

you, and if you fall I’m along”
I’m working on my palms

I mostly wish they were the air –
at the Palm restaurant: the error

of being 14 on dad’s 50th
dad needing a date, or a friend

his age – I had a white vest  
: anyone in the city spins

faster until contiguous: spun driving
into the purpose of beltways

sending us this in-town wind
it’s a suite of beavers: occupied

when I said come over I meant
a pattern; I meant a handful of times

I meant “see if you want the
condition of coming over to me”

stay: I’ll keep that milk you like
I’ll think to buy unsliced bread

keep as in store for winter
: canned beets, pickled eggs

leftover magenta jarred in vinegar
mint hung upside down to dry

frozen pear halves, frozen basil
it’s not the weather’s spring yet

it refuses even though
it’s evident spring in the light

Davy Knittle is the author of the chapbooks empathy for cars / force of july (horse less press) and cyclorama (the operating system). His poems and reviews have appeared recently in The Recluse, Fence, Jacket2, and Sixth Finch. He lives in Philadelphia, where he curates the City Planning Poetics series at the Kelly Writers House.