Incomplete Musings

by Amanda Preston

I’ve never finished a book without falling

asleep, not one essay, novel, drama, poem;

how could I be done with something that I love?


Closure is really an impossible task if

you actually think, so perhaps it would be

best if authors never wrote endings at all


Must everything be finished

before our intended receives it?

We, ourselves, never are


There is no curiosity left in completion–

seal set, film cut, all the edges of things

blocked, fixed, calcified: ungrowing, nowhere


Where great ideas–foundings–begin

is in great pauses between: in connections


Breath and vision, passion and belief:

all unfinished evenings–they never wrap up

but carry on well after many deaths


Those are the places where gods meet–

the intersection of an hourglass, walking

the toes that trace it ever back around


Just so: a good teacher never completes

a thought before weaving in another

or looping back around a little wider


Yes: we all move right past transitions

as if we never knew or needed them,

perhaps because we are those motions


Narratives pick up where we give

up a little, where bridges fall short–

where what we mean to say–almost promises–

to explain itself but then doesn’t: let on


What we dream lies in gaps between periods

even if we demand closure from sentences–

so, sometimes mercy lets the object go

Amanda Preston is a professor of English and Developmental English as well as a perpetual graduate student. She is currently working on a second Master’s in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience at UT Dallas in a mad attempt to marry her twin impulses: the creative and the analytic—the poet and the scientist.

Preston’s poetry has been translated and read in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Anthropology and the Goethe Language Institute, published both at home and abroad, and occasionally read and installed in gallery spaces across the Dallas metroplex in collaboration with local artists, musicians, and dancers.


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