Knives, Widower

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Issue Twenty One, Poetry


I can offer you only: this world like a knife

—John Berryman

A set of them

in a house is nothing,

where nothing

becomes a meal for us.

We are either kitchen

or crime scene

as our daily recipes

prepare fresh wounds

or silence in rooms.

Words are food

for afterthought.

We plunge sharpness

into leafy artichokes

where the heart lies

between a hairy choke

and grounding stem.

Instructions say

knives are safely used

when you cut away.


Form as cumulonimbus,  

everything goes aerial.

Nothing’s nailed down.

Paint love lost as wind,

mostly watercolors

without showing bones.

No notice is received

before inheriting this farm,

acres seeded with silence.

Most days come wrapped

as broken gifts

or once, a lucky lottery:

cologne left on a shirt,

capable as a movie.

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