Rusty Morrison


You might have referred to what reconciles us, our complicitly complicated wounds. While all around us, the cloudlessness has blue as its answer. And you give it. I have no gift ready as reply. Sky, I could say, in abeyance. In abiding, but a failure might at least be fan-tailed. Anise Swallowtail, fluttering now, on the otherwise wordless slope. Walk toward it, and it becomes the precision of vanishment that I see daily in your face, in my own. What were you thinking? I ask. As if my thoughts weren’t weaving their breath with yours in tandem, sewn in the same seconds, but with photons firing into atoms of entirely different cloth. Squint, when the brilliant light vestments you, vestments us both. The shock is a kind of smile.


Rusty Morrison’s poems were recently accepted by or have appeared in Colorado Review, Fence, Volt, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, Lana Turner, and elsewhere. Her five books include After Urgency (Tupelo), which won The Dorset Prize & the true keeps calm biding its story (Ahsahta), which won the Sawtooth Prize, the Academy of American Poet’s James Laughlin Award, the Northern California Book Award, & the DiCastagnola Award from Poetry Society of America. Her most recent book, Beyond the Chainlink (Ahsahta), was a finalist for the NCIBA and also for the NCBA Awards in Poetry. She has been co-publisher of Omnidawn ( since 2001. Her website