About this poet

David Dodd Lee is the author of Animalities (Four Way Books, 2014). He teaches at Indiana University South Bend and lives in Osceola, Indiana.

In the Black Kitchen

David Dodd Lee
It begins early, arc crumbling over the yard with its salt bird baths.
Then you dream of the banister gleaming, your hand
from atop the stairs gripping a tiny casket. Heat gathers above the
   local graveyard
that dusts so resolutely the young men's shoes with its flags.
This is where the shadows meet the white wall. Since
you were a boy you've moved unmolested right through them.
But you are never alone. You are never without the crumbs
your father scraped off your black toast. The whiter the appliance
the rounder its corners. The reflections on the floor are cut into many
   small pieces.
There's nowhere to hide. He keeps looking in the window at you.

From Abrupt Rural by David Dodd Lee. Copyright © 2004 by David Dodd Lee. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose. All rights reserved.

From Abrupt Rural by David Dodd Lee. Copyright © 2004 by David Dodd Lee. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose. All rights reserved.

David Dodd Lee

David Dodd Lee is the author of Animalities (Four Way Books, 2014). He teaches at Indiana University South Bend and lives in Osceola, Indiana.

by this poet

poem

Large sea turtles and some whales
will outlive us, water a manifestation of wind in

   another dimension.
I had to use the shovel to hack at the wood, had to grab

a hatchet, down deep in the hole. The oak pitched around
like a ship’s mast, or I was no longer alive; perhaps I was

poem
A block of soap
carved to look like Pan

and that's just what came in the mail

a volcano under those flip flops

kisses spilling off the water-wheel

Green becomes a stillness leftover in the late-born effluence
of a decade's worth of smoke and flat beer

(I can't get any air)

because there was no
poem
My hand became my father's hand 
that day, 
for a second or two, as I lifted the fish, and I could feel his loneliness, 
my father's, like mine,

a horse in a stall spooked by guttering candles, 
the popping and black smoke, the quivering flanks.

And if a horse, in its loneliness, couldn't manage 
to