Poetry: Not Evening Now by Henry Brooks
“Not Evening Now”—a poem of memory and the wet Florida air—is true joy in the mouth. Sound puts the meat on imagery, on memory, and Henry Brooks has invited us to feast in his night gazebo.
Not Evening Now
Not evening now, but a deep night
hangs like berries off of the lagoon.
The carry of the Florida air
is thick as pines with
the who-whoing of owls
high in the undiscovered, with a current
from the Gulf that has slid over glass
a hundred miles to know
the underwhelm of our necks.
Ahead there is a footbridge
wreathed across the slick water
and a night gazebo
between the lilly pads.
We might sit a minute
or less, not too long, not
to miss the TV movie but maybe
for a question: Remember
the waves last year? Remember
the coliseum of sand?
These are the night herons
of memory, marshalled into focus
like cattails from on deep water.
Tonight we’re wreathed out
across the lagoon of a generation;
it is slick and dark as
and it is us in the gazebo
this night around.
Henry Brooks is a poet, essayist, and student of history from Pasadena, California. He is completing his studies at Harvard College, where he focuses on the emergence of the US-Mexico borderlands. He writes a column "Socially Liberal, Fiscally Liberal" for The Harvard Crimson. He has also been published in Narrative Magazine.