| Poetry


Tonight you are a mile of black weeds.
You are a crow with a beak full of smoke
on the move over the river.

Tonight I shave my head and nail
a baggy of hair above my door.
I walk by the light of my new skull.

You are an abandoned air force base
and your nine steel hangars each house
a different shade of moonlight
and your fields are full of hemp whose leaves
once made parachutes, but now

I roll into a ditchweed ell and smoke
as I wander your borders.  My heart
is slow as a gong but my eyes

are quick as lures cast into the dark
and hook woodpile, quail, water pump.
Tonight you are an underground lake
and I draw the pump handle to bathe my scalp
in your bright wrists.


I have an open invitation to crowbar open
any door of the night, so I break into
the neighbor’s farm.

You and I have knives in our hands
as we enter the rooster pen.
You hold one down while I cut off

its cockscomb, which will be ground up in a lab
and injected into someone’s arthritic knees.
This is how the farmer pays

for this mammoth satellite dish
we are sitting in.  There’s a house I know
this farmer never got around to burning.
Let’s go lay on the kitchen floor
and read our futures written in
the zodiacs of mold.

You will marry rich and forget my name.
I will make an art out of night shifts and pills.


We are a country
of unlocked tractors and culverts
cops don’t know.

You are an unfinished house
left wrapped in Tyvek for three years.
You let nests be built inside you.

You are a gravel pit a road crew
never bothered to fill in.
You are an unmoored rowboat.

I am one curled up in your rafters.
I am the water that fills your opened ground.
I grip the oars and steer you

to the other side of the lake
where the fish poachers gather,
their haul
as bright as a searchlight.



Andrew Grace’s third book Sancta was published by Ahsahta Press in early 2012.  Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Antioch ReviewBat City Review and Beloit Poetry Journal.  He is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati.

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