Directions for Lines that will Remain Unfinished

Sarah Messer

Line to be sewn into a skirt hem
held in my mouth ever since the  unraveling
Line beneath a bridge
for years without hope I stretched my arms into the river searching for you
Line to be sent to the cornfield
history is a hallway of leaves.
Line written for electric wires
your voice inside the no history, sitting still
Line for future people
inside the work, only my empty teeth
Line from Maharaj
Presently you are in quietude. Is it on this side of sleep or on the other side?
Line that cannot be read because of its darkness
impossible walk under weight of honey
away from your hands that break me in half
Line addressing President Lincoln
when the handle and blade are gone, what remains
of your axe?
Line to be run over by a lawn mower
afraid of everything and to be of no use.
Line for a distant midnight dog-pack
because I can never speak it
Line to be sewn into a shirt collar
the streak of your finger across the hood of the car
Line for a stone growing old
a sunburst that lands inside a flower
Line written only with your mouth
desire is a trick ghost
Line for the garden weeds
slowly I am nearer to you
Line describing the better qualities of monsters
are we afraid of what we wished for?
Three lines written for bears
inside cells, water, trees, I am meaningless
darkness and light wind like breath on fur
I carry the circling cities inside me
Line for a leaf blown into the hair of the Master
seeing you, I want no other life
Line for a mouse
to die like that, held in your hands
Copyright 2012 by Sarah Messer. Used with permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

After the Election by Sarah Messer
Moonlight slept quiet beneath the grandstand
Prayer from a Mouse by Sarah Messer
Dimensionless One, can you hear me?

Further Reading

Related Poems
How the mind works still to be sure
by Jennifer Denrow
How to Make a Game of Waiting
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
Lines of Refusal
by Julie Carr