SELECTED FOR
Best New Poems Online
July 2, 2011

excerpts from A Pictorial History of Wilderness

A voice lifts the music, a whisper shaped like a person in this
room and he’s talking to me

Do not anchor — this list of what you made while you waited

All you dreamed from the seasonal arrival of a Sears catalog.
Light is opening the fronds, see

the ticket counter where you speak
your destination and realize you might say any place

If I sleep here, isn’t this a story. The voice of someone whose
voice is glimmering, trumpet, vine

Child of the west, if as I, you speak a milky crane

Seen under water the bathing place for stone

Rare herons spotted here but do we make the trip I hunted
the dictionary of all mammals.

We ate mackerel out of a can, mashed together in patties and fried,
large as a child’s palm

Did we come from the place I loved for its low dousing of clouds

Night herons quickly lift as felled trees

Seven days and all the doves on our windowsills quiver

They have come in color, tricked by winter’s shadow

Today snow fell and fell again to thicken

This dawn sleeping by a mother’s breast it is not mine

Pieces of land lay beside each other, we look for edges that fit easily

The body not machine, some ground to till or pick rocks out of

The world’s tallest building within the shape of a hand when it is
no longer yours

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