Winter 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2014 |

Ars Poetica

I slept in a far-away tent, I slept in a hollow log, then I slept in a crate abandoned in the snow, I built my shelter from garbage and branches, I slept in the truckyard's pile of tires, I slogged through the marsh, upsetting the herons— before I knew you, I owned a gun, before I knew you I kept a sparrow in a shoebox, I fed it ham and held it to my head to hear it sing, I called it a radio, it kept the blues away, I called it love and wrote down all the words, I have loved sad songs and I carried a gun before I knew you and, Lord, when they shipped me here, I roamed hotel hallways dazzle-eyed and strange, I pushed a cart full of towels, gun in my pocket, ear to the doors, I missed my friends, I missed my crate, my pile of tires, I had such friends before they shipped me here, Lord, Tampa, Cincinnati, Sparks, ear to my radio, I am old and wounded in the thigh, I listen to the ice machine's clink ing thoughts, I push my cart while the planes tak

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