Summer 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2001 |

Mourning Engagement Ring

Airbrush out his cigarette like an old black pot put upside down in a field—   he was barley, the heaviest grain that grows, a bead on the larger world from my own intimate district,   a brother or a sister creature of its ploughing edge.   How I have thrown a year away, smiling a look at stars in their dullest form,   and come back with nothing, not even a birthname, though I took his name strongly,   I overrejoiced in the achievement of that touch, the toned senses of the controlled body.   It is a common word, my very body, my very mouth,   the same word for what is missing or the small pieces of the field which the plough has not touched.   I was so relieved to hear those twelve strokes tightening at pleasure,   the volume of conversation in the restaurant,   I moved like string in a hem the stiff dark clay prevailing in my hollows,   sown only on the chance of rain with the dead that have become the fallen, lik

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.