The Grave
The sky might
strike you
off balance

And the reedy milk
of yellow hair
streaked across it
fills the ear
sends (up) the
vulnerable skin


If you see a grave on the wall,
it might mean there is a light source behind you.

The light might not be


I thought I had finally found my place

The sparks set finally on the sill
And how the sparks grew faces
I did not know

I was waiting for


Let me sit here on this step
For a minute
I am tired
measuring personally

sparks set finally on the sill
need to be alone
need it to be late

give now each self another life?
sparks are white
with a yellow suggestion
orange in the woods

burned off the ceremony

I showed up with six drinks

I challenged the children
to imagine they were
on the bottom of a lake

sky above hundreds of feet
of glacier-cold water—

All the children ran first to the window
To look directly into THEIR valley

From the window glass to the mountains,
four miles in the distance


sparks set finally on the sill

The flattened fuses
of anarchy


You think there’s hope when
Having been hopeless
Look up to see a limb
of paling green hearts
Attached by a thin flat ventricle

And where there is no water
Nor suffrage, hell-blue sky




This poem is an excerpt from Brandon Shimoda’s The Desert (The Song Cave).

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