One of my ribs is a burning blade
& the other I left for you in the yard—
in the seatback pocket to find, to startle
one dead to what living’s no longer worth.
A melon’s enough to thirst for, yet
a mindset’s its own regime—
Cold up here five miles above what I
don’t know how yet to keep still in.


Poet’s Note: The poem’s opening line belongs to Mandelstam.

Author Image

Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s books include Meadow Slasher, The Courier’s Archive & Hymnal, Swamp Isthmus, and Selenography (all from Black Ocean and Sidebrow Books). He lives in Tucson, where he runs a small press called Letter Machine Editions and a journal called The Volta.

Feature image by Benjamin Bernt, Untitled, 2009.
Acrylic and oil pastel on paper, 32 x 22 cm

Click on the image to enlarge.

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