Today's poem is by Elizabeth Willis


There goes the ink that bled this river dry.
A voice as sweet as a tarball
you can't follow across the purple hills,
unmeant to he touched, of turtles.
This postcard smells of plastic
not paper. This beach is touching
everything I used to know
about a country which to speak of
is to lie, to let it lie for you
with its purple dividing line
between the arrows of the map.

So a river can exist inside the sea.
And the sea will have no reverie
inside the letters of a name
we're trying not to look away from.
That voice is not a human voice.
An inhuman wing of government
is not a bird, it's a shovel
made of diamonds
beating down the air.

The voice says yes,
this picture is trying, will be a trial.
It says the shiny purple river
is so gemlike, so delta-force,
couldn't we follow its dark cursive
across the flow chart
of unmeaning and undoing
as if it were just an irreversible dream?
Yes, a fish can drown.

Copyright © 2011 Elizabeth Willis All rights reserved
from Colorado Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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