The Infinity Movement

There is still time

          to grow Momma’s high-

throated laugh, her prickly


          skin as if to say the world

may not touch me

          here and here and here,


I do not understand

          I have been made to grow

into a tree with color—


          pink blossoms shrinking

only once I confess how

          I let November touch me—


until I’ve already done so. Then

          again, are a few colorful months

all I have to offer? I didn’t


          spot the telltale signs of sin

until they were already snaking

          up my back. There is no color,


I’ve realized, I cannot capture

          for my own pleasure, no quiet

man I cannot be. I am truthfully


          barren until I ask to be filled:

with night, if you please—

          and June, and night, with a pinch


of dark. Then I am so skintight

          or would the correct word

be skinfree? Because I am standing


          behind part of my body

and the night-wind gallops

          and laughs and gallops away


with the rest. So dark, I doubt

          there will ever come another

morning, and it doesn’t come


          until I’ve already given

all my trust to the trees, though

          really, every body is the same,


so what is there to protect? Even when

          there is more to my life

than a postcard of its season—


          there is only a flash

followed by the faithless

          dark. The sky goes


limp, the night a dress

          to be worn. Across my face

a single lightning rod remains.



Peter LaBerge is the author of the chapbooks Makeshift Cathedral (YesYes Books, 2017) and Hook (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). His recent work appears in Best New Poets, Colorado Review, Harvard Review, Iowa Review, Pleiades, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the Bucknell University Stadler Center for Poetry and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Adroit Journal. He lives in Philadelphia, where he is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.