by Terron James
I bow in most tender wetness, because nothing will make me feel better,
Like dogs in a street in Syracuse converted to explicit rapture.
Oh, dear, what comfort can I find watching it all fall into a strange outlaw?
For you’re young, whatever life you wear from the skin of some animal.
I dance the strumming, rooted, long-tailed pull of grief.
The mountains tower over me with uncertain shadows upon a salty sea,
The houses gray sewage bubbling up out of street sewers
Telling me something, something undone in thin air.
Even at night the air clings and clings.
And on naked hillsides by the open grave,
My embodied life, my life of senses,
They die shuddering with joy.
Is there nothing but the thin shadow?
Now you understand just why my head’s not bowed.
* * * * *
The purpose of this exercise was to create a poem by pulling solitary lines from 18 separate books of poetry, then manipulate the compilation to my liking and give it a title. Almost makes me sound like a poet!