12 Months

Just after midnight. Day
365. Just as time
closes the circle
tight, another one
in a parallel life
opens just a crack
to let in the light
of all the sunrises
my father did witness,
all the waves
he did hear crash
against all the shores
he claimed
with an intensity
in his eyes.

Just as I wonder
how I will see it rise
through a late August
storm, I remember
I could let go
of the immediate
future to breathe
more freely into this
slowed-down now.
I could address
my father directly,
and no one would care
if I believed
in spirits. And so
I do know

you are out there
whether I can see you
or not. This day
will break
as it will
no matter what.

Sandy Hook Light

Night & Day Poems of Amy Nash

for my father

We step inside the octagon
pillar. And we ascend.
Each turn of the spiral
stair breaks another one of your words
from its memory foothold—

loom ing
bar ri er
in can des cent
sand bar
un der tow.

Syllables smash
against the white-washed
concrete floor base below
and dissolve without leaving
any echo
residue. 1764, the year
it was built, splits
open—decades spill
onto the treads we’ve just climbed.
By the time we reach
the lanthorn, the Fresnel lens
freshly cleaned and functioning
into the 21st century, the sky
has cleared for us
to see in all directions—Atlantic Ocean,
Jersey Coast, Verrazano Narrows
Bridge, the Empire State
Building 20 miles north.
In the heat trapped inside and panorama opening wide, whole sentences fly
off our tongues, circumnavigating
enunciation. Did they jump,
or were they pushed? I can retrieve them
later, if you wish. For now,

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Monday Mornings in August

Hurt my eyes, my bones,
those muscles with memory
make themselves
known. To wake

to news
of a dimness
that has descended
from a light that has been extinguished

permanently—what is left
to fear? He cannot die
all over again,
can he? But the pain

is real. Spasms stun
me into beginning
those stages of awareness,
grief again, out of order.