My outstretched thumb
aligned just right
to eclipse the sun,
hoard all the lights
of heaven for later.
It has been later so long.
Now nightlit and trembling,
bed sheets teepeed overhead—
where all stories begin—I
from splayed fingers,
let them race across
a bright cotton sky
steadied only by my arms
which can barely hold
We bundle the hay still scattered
across the threshing room floor
into his frayed work shirt
and fashion a nightmarish face
from crayon and burlap,
stuffing the sack with everything time
hasn’t rusted in place—dog tags and letters
written to someone other than grandma,
a west-bent compass, a Swiss Army knife
that won’t open, a few drops of our blood.
His head is heavy in our hands.
What about his voice? We sew his lips tight.
What about his voice in us? We do not speak […]
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Drift your folded
this bathtub’s ocean
as long as you can;
soon, little boat,
we will be bringing
two of each
of our drowned
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John Sibley Williams is the author of eight collections, most recently Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press, 2013). Four-time Pushcart nominee, he is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award and has been a finalist for the Rumi, Best of the Net, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and Board Member of the Friends of William Stafford. A few previous publishing credits include: American Literary Review, Third Coast, Sequestrum, Nimrod International Journal, Rio Grande Review, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.