Today's poem is by C. McAllister Williams

Universal Design

It is becoming easier to calculate
my mistakes but not to foresee them.

This is a kind of creature. I don't remember
my dreams. In my other

lives, I am wearing white suits, I am
a scientist. Things ablate. Things

formulate themselves in a moraine.
Something about accumulation. Something

regional & debased.

See a ghost & say
the secret word. My fingers are all

I have. My brain has its genuflections,
its specks of grandeur. I put it

in a mason jar & boil. I put my nails
up for the winter, wrapped

in plastic. The gesture is to coat
myself in leather, to affix warnings.

The pose is shot through. My
teeth, my useless hands.

Landscape with Alchemist

I put my potion in a little green
pot. I leave it open. I keep my hands
inside my sleeves. My legg are automatic.

I mean my fingers. I mean my predisposition
to mistakes the size of my face. My hair &
its tawdry knots. My teeth & their poison.

In the evenings. I catch bugs. I put them in
a coffee can. It is green. I keep the bugs cozy
with wonder. The sky gains its heroes.

Only monsters live in the waters. I have proof.
I have a strong dose of science. I keep
it in a satchel. The satchel is green.

I keep it hidden. I am the best at freeze
tag & secrets. My bones break. My thumbs
have known, have been cut through

like an oxbow. Mud may prove
to be an asset, may prove to be the saddest
cloud. The clouds move when the can tips, when

the bugs think about the sky. The bugs have spent
the morning composing sonatas. I have spent the morning
plotting their escape.

Copyright © 2012 C. McAllister Williams All rights reserved
from Columbia Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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