Dear Sarah, I’m writing to admit to you I’ve never made much of a Viking.
But you, your last name even sounds like stabbing. Your arm thrust in the air
drives the hibiscus to form a violet cloud out by the lighthouse.
Greetings from cattle-country Australia and moo.
I’m writing to tell you your figure is much too fine for insurance.
I could see you in some heavy chainmail. I could see you eating off a spit.
In Australia, an artist built an exhibit out of mirrors and ladders where he claimed
you could climb from heaven to hell. No one tried it. He lives on a beach now.
Maybe it is just like that. We’re trapped in an era where simplicity may be ingenuity,
where what tempts me isn’t all that elaborate. Sometimes, Sarah
a train passes so close to my body I can taste the silence
and I think my effort to describe it’s both heroic and orthodox. I never
imagined how hard it would be here in the land of elephantine plants.
The shadow of my family line falls over me, or is it a line of latitude?
I pray past the hills mottled with flowers, the combusted silo,
past the ships silver with fish, the sky offering up a rib.

Homepage photograph via Flickr by quinet

Kyle McCord

Kyle McCord is the author of two books of poetry. Galley of the Beloved in Torment was the winner of the 2008 Orphic Prize. His second book, co-written with poet Jeannie Hoag, is a book of epistolary poems entitled Informal Invitation to a Traveler. His work has been featured in Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Journal, Gulf Coast, Third Coast, Volt, and elsewhere. He co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry.