Today's poem is by A. E. Stallings


In the beginning, everything was
Itself— palpable and fragrant,
Squamous, smooth, loud, chilly, blue,

Salt sweat, the ferric twang of blood.
He brought the trouble. It takes two.
The pippin of Discord on the tree

Mottled. Suddenly, points of view:
Garden, wilderness, right and wrong
And sinister, and “me” and “you.”

The sentence started, with commands—
The shalt’s and shalt not’s. How construe
The moods?: subjunctive, sullen— Powers

That be! And lies that chime with true.
I snuck off while he hissed my sound
In his sleep. Let him find someone new,

Some chit born yesterday, and rhyme
Her with naïve— some ingenue—
Let him forget me! I could not—

I tried to grope my way back to
Dumb things, but when I heard the owl
Keening “who?,” I knew, I knew.

Copyright © 2004 A. E. Stallings All rights reserved
from The National Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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