Andy Vogle

Sea-Sky Threads

The permanently

imperfect line

halves the picture,

the darker bottom bar

bobbing against

the paler nothing.

I know you’re out there.

When Red Eggers first saw

the ocean, visiting

his son, he shook:

“There’s no more land,

it’s the end of the land.”

When a car crash killed

your daddy in Dancy,

you were six. When we

were that age, my cousins

and I tried to hold

jellyfish. Two options

there: sting, or a wobbling

from our hands. Either

way, we buried them

in the sand. Troy once got

a crab shell in the palm

of his foot—his father

squinted, and cut

the fragments out. Some of these

are harder to frame

than others—what to do

with black weeds like

cassette tape tangled

in the dunes. I know

you’re gone—this is how

I live with you now,

stray melodies, driving

just to drive, hanging

at the outskirts, the tide’s

diligent chaos.


Arlington Panels

1. Last Words on Ivy Street


In fogdawn’s light, a treeless yard’s

thick sweep of green, the next’s

garish yellow contemplation—

What’s all this yield? A swelling

mist, leftover rain, the pale beat

on roofs. It must sound good inside

that house, must be nice to sleep

within, to wake the weather, sigh

at design, and all but believe.


2. South Old Glebe


I take the dog out the stairwell door,

stroll the chain link between our building

and duplexes’ backyards. So dark

so early, the cold’s downtrod

like an obsession. I plainly

stare into a bay window: soft light,

small kitchen, a woman washes dishes.

She is being swallowed by the night,

and she is its center.


3. House in Negative Silhouette


The outline of roofs along lit sky, such pretty desolation

in evening’s cadenced light, such clean

diagonals, clarity of bleakness—

When I am sentimental they are beautiful

or depressing, and when I am serious

they stun, so either way—

Among all these apparent disparities,

within shingles’ seethe and sun’s glare,

I couldn’t have been the one to make up this mind.


Andy Vogle grew up in Virginia Beach, spent 13 years in the DC area, and has now been upstate for 8 years, where he teaches high school, works on his PhD in Education, and raises a family. Andy has 5 chapbooks of poems and nonfiction published or forthcoming in AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, English Journal, and Popmatters.

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