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.

Wish Serendipity

Night & Day Poems of Amy Nash

She accidentally drops

a penny
into a plastic cup
filled with water.

Aiming for the tip

jar, how did she miss?
Whose water—
now magical

or polluted? No one

notices. She decides
on magic,
and it would be

peace for you, Dad.

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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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Come full circle
is not complete
without the last five

days. Can I keep
the pace of grief
steady? Sequential

dreaming is overrated. Change
the setting, change
the internal

dialogue and all the reed
instruments collected
in one long

narrow room. Corridor
songs round their notes
best without cracking them.

In Six Days

The counting may stop,
the spinning through
a thousand seasons
in a day may
become a memory. Or,
it won’t. Who
can predict
how my feet
will move
on the island
at dawn.

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.

Or Bluff

The last lift
she achieved
cannot prepare her

(or him)
for any elevation
gained or lost

the next
morning. Hot
or cold, tea

spilled at regular
intervals throughout
this next

day begins

to resemble a channel
not carved
by man (or woman).

In Medias Res

He broke the words
she thought she wanted

to court
him with. She speaks
in whispers

that vaporize
on contact. He took
the long way

around the park
at dusk
to see her

leaving. She does
not know

this could happen
to her again.


She responds more slowly, moves
more deliberately
as if her body has made a choice:

To be less
impulsive, more
responsible to the overall balance

of energy
in the world. To be still
long enough to receive

satellite signals
that will navigate her

to hidden trails
maintained by those
who are too soon gone.


An old park viewed
from a heightened
angle. Which bird’s
eye? Left or right or
mind’s? Will the 21st-century
Cyclops fly? How
will I capture
it with my butterfly
net? What about you?