This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Wilderness//Kingdom by Jory Michelson, released by Floating Bridge Press in 2019.
to the memory of Alfred Petrovich
How good the green air felt
when I broke from the foundry’s door
leaving behind the vulcan light
we pounded thin for thirteen hours
until it turned more delicate
than wire, became a tracery of orange
against the skin. How the hammer
echoed in the ear and fettered me
to sleep. How loud the body’s metronome.
Below the tic of cooled muscle, eyes
dim in their sockets, the web
of breath remains. The headlamp mind,
released from the body’s tether, drifts toward
soft-edged trees. How similar the road at waking
to the one bound for rest. How the hammer
of the heart swings, as if for hours, in hand.
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