I walk in a borrowed self,
a drift of mist
left from a smoking lake.
Even when I sit still as a dead wind,
the sun still eats me.
My skin turns back to sea-foam
peeling away from a loaned skin.
With luck the melt is slow,
the thinning of a stone
or the thinning of love
to its weary core:
that hoard guarded
as if the last few seeds.
Instead of a street light
angling through your blinds
I am a pale gleam
on the sheets
my mouth the next verse
we lean into
I want to set you loose
like a wind chime
in a storm shaking the house
until our teeth crack
I don’t want a taste
I want my body to be
so full of your body
that you wave at yourself
in the mirror
with my hand
Sarah Bartlett, from Sixth Finch (Winter 2014)
This morning, I have
never been so close to you. I think you could be
anywhere and so I have written you here, not to forget. Yet
I don’t want to see you caught like a word in that last line.
What does the nightingale do when it runs out of things to say?
Only this: I have never been so astonished at the love of one woman
which is the way the moon finally closes its eye behind a ridge,
the way the wind never stays around long enough to see
what it has brought.
—Richard Jackson, from “The Gift of the Wind,” in Resonance: Poems (The Ashland Poetry Press, 2010)
Of light on water
and the movement of each
individually and together.
It is not a metaphor for splendor.
It is a wedding of elements.
The Greeks, seeing the god in all, would have understood.
When I write of water and light,
I speak to those things as much as to you.
—Elaine Equi, “I Speak a Dialect of Glitter,” Mad Hatters’ Review (Issue 15)
May my silences become more accurate.Theodore Roethke, from “Words for Young Writers,” On Poetry & Craft (Copper Canyon Press, 2001)