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Tuesday, September 6, 2016


There are names on books
of who edited poems together
by this or that author
the editor sharing a life
that could not possibly
be understood in its entirety
not understood by the readers
who do not breathe
the same air
as the poet walks
in sandals or barefoot
in loafers or heels
The collected dust
on a poet's skin
would show where
the poet walked
but they do not sell
small vials of it
in bookstores
Collected hair
left by balding poets
isn't traded
at the supermarket
Old bills paid
by checks signed
might still exist
but few might collect
Empty bottles or bindles
don't seem to make it
to the auction
The last rays of light
that touched the poet's skin
have been reflected
in light seen or unseen
Exhaled breath
with droplets of moisture
traded to the air
from coursing veins
dissipate among the vegetable stands
on a distant street
in a town unnamed
in every line of poetry
or letter written to a friend
All we have are remnants
of inspiration
that deleted a moment
of awareness of everything
around the poet
long enough
for pen pencil
tapped keys or tapped keyboard
chalk or tip of burnt kindling
to set limited words
spelled in designed letters
of a thousand alphabets
onto something another
might try to comprehend
only to fail
this challenge
of crawling beneath the skin
to live one second
in awe or disgust
of a life for which
we are desperate

Barry G. Wick

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