Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Poem: Andrew Miller



I write letters of admiration to the moon.
We correspond:
A crater for a scar. A sea for a bruise.


The elm trees are dying of a Dutch disease
that bears their names.
The wind administers it like a syringe,

so his hands found me gently in our first room.


There is a hospital train
full of amputees
vanishing into the mouth of a tunnel
in the Alps.

You are an orderly.
And you a patient.
And you an engineer.

Soon we will come out the other side of the mountain.

Beautiful as a hospital, the moon awaits.
It is the tattoo he carved himself
slowly above my elbow.


I am the driver.

We are coming to a town
where the children eat candy
the size of the skulls of children.

The stars have nothing to add.
The elms are those who waited too long.

It takes everything to leave a man.
Nothing to divorce him.
He arrives in the faces of my sons.


If a man replaces himself with a knife...
If a man replaces himself with a roll of dimes...
If bits of glass shine in your skin...
If you wake far from where you were standing....

You are here.

~ Andrew Miller received my MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997, where he studied with Larry Levis, and then later Gerald Stern and Ellen Bryant Voigt. His poems have appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Shenandoah, and The New Orleans Review. In 2002 he was awarded the Runes Prize for Mystery and two of his poems have been nominated for Push Cart Prizes.

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