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About this Poem 

"This poem is part of a longer sequence of poems whose origins come from time spent along the D&R Canal in New Jersey. Have you been there? You should go. Despite the violence in the poem it is a dazzlingly beautiful place. And only one hour from Penn Station!" —Michael Dickman

From the Canal

Michael Dickman

Something breathes
on a dead deer
and the hair inside its ears
wave

Headlights and
rubber

Water fills the black eyeholes that keep seeing everything reflected back from skidding
         black macadam

Someone cut your feet off

Someone moved your leg across the street

Someone whistled

Giving birth
you give birth to steam
and maggots

Strange new butterflies

Copyright © 2013 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 18, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Michael Dickman

Michael Dickman

Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award

by this poet

poem
There is a way
if we want
into everything

I'll eat the chicken carbonara and you eat the veal, the olives, the small and glowing
   loaves of bread

I'll eat the waiter, the waitress
floating through the candled dark in shiny black slacks
like water at night

The napkins, folded into paper
poem
First I get a father
from some city
of fathers

One with a neck

bright 
red

And with all the tiny bird bones in my fingers carefully tip his chin back into the light like love
     so I can see
     so I can smell

I tell a dirty joke, then drag the steel across the universe

There's
poem

Standing in her house today all I could think of was whether she took a shit every
   morning

or ever fucked anybody
or ever fucked
herself

God's poet
singing herself to sleep

You want these sorts of things for people

Bodies and
the earth
and

the earth inside

Instead of white
nightgowns and