Today's poem is by Traci Brimhall


Each time I start, the explorers and tyrants,
encantados and daughters are already dead. If you want
to know what I long for, I'd say a world of my own

making where changing destinies is a phrase away,
where everything is true but retreats when you try
to touch it. Where saintless miracles frequent

because the awe is boundless and the drink specials
are cheap. Where I am capable of a quieter greatness
and can write the story I wish someone had written

for me. If only the past would have me now that I have
its answers - its griefs and inheritances. I've given
at least half my faith to madness, the rest

to the chapters written for those who were made
for more loneliness. Not this present with its
halfhearted daydreams and migrating graves.

You can grieve something you've never seen.
The past seems more sure, more endless. Time
moves, but I won't. I will wait for the what-was

to return, the way it did once, that morning
I found a naked girl in my field, her body sure
as prose. When I reached, her flesh vanished,

her bones lay white as paper. My hand, all urge
and no sentiment, bled into her ribs, joyful,
beholding, waiting for the word to begin.

Copyright © 2017 Traci Brimhall All rights reserved
from Saudade
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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