Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Your Virtue Unswerving, But Miles from Any Mark

Skewered to a thicket, you sleep on a mattress
piled with straw while spiders

slap the screens. You chase a decade of dust
from the back porch, cook with

the one pot you find and kneel into another
morning, your fingers steadying

the pages for you often tremor, the guilt
forest-thick, your throat

might close forever if you sing that one
too many times. To whom?

The horseflies zipping the evening to shreds?
Forget this knock-kneed

metaphor of a cabin, a forest, your one pot
sunk in its lime rim—

Look at the lake, the water peeling toward us
like spoons, a ladder of light

and the fish in their soft armor, numb to a fear
of drowning, mouths agape,

searching the water’s mossen lid—to be so
dumbstruck is to really know God  end  

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