Poetry | March 01, 2010

Winner of the 2009 Editors’ Prize in Poetry.

Featuring the poems:


Into your pocket

I have slid a bright morning before rain.

Tonight’s concerto is folded into thousands

of paper cranes; their wings were trees, rollicking

restless in the sun. Here’s a loose,

black thread pulled from my hem, tangled


to a tiny bundle between my fingers & thumb.

Kelp strands roiled back & forth in the surf

& deposited at high tide, the lost chains

of underseas are knotted, left along the beach.

Here is the warmth of my stride, left in a heap


on a rug beside the bed, blue jeans shed

in the shapes of my legs. I, too, have held

the shape of an absence. Quiet in the auditorium.

Who is that, laughing at the back of the room?

Here we are again, leaning against the door,


my way to you disclosed by two tongues

spending a sweet moment. The self I become

& the self you become are celestial bodies

entered into, one by another. Tender

release, a wet palate tasting its small


flourishes, my love is for taking along.

Like you, I swim a rising, astral surge.

If we are anchored by every spent moment,

the anchors are already rusted to dust

& these chains no heavier than light.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.