deer & salt block

Joshua Marie Wilkinson

One boy is a liar & says there's a block of salt under his bed to draw deer in from the orchard. One boy says the pantry wall will open if you say an untold anagram of his name. One boy is already dressed when he wakes up for his young father's wedding. One boy hides a turtle from his brothers in a dresser drawer. One boy is mute & sluggish from the hurricane sirens. One boy took a long time in the bathtub reading the comics. One boy loops a tractor chain to the ceiling fan & tears the whole roof down. One boy speaks through a keyhole to the others about a shortstop's hex. One boy can't stand the scent of elevators. One boy gives different spellings for his name each week at school. That same boy stole his teacher's shoe. Another boy listens to a radio inside his pillowcase. One boy drinks coffee alone in the zookeeper's shed. The last boy casts a purple stone to the bottom of a pond & follows it down with his church clothes on.

From The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth by Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Copyright © 2009 by Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Used by permission of Tupelo Press. All rights reserved.

From The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth by Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Copyright © 2009 by Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Used by permission of Tupelo Press. All rights reserved.

Joshua Marie Wilkinson

by this poet

poem
But the moths find you, phantom.

       & the crackle
       of the javelinas
       in the brush

       old litany
       defiled the doorling
       stood canon toting

So, you know the ground here? Where else 
is new or to you called unknown:

       gumtree tipping
       onto the marsh 
       meadow'
poem

          ***

Even if only in photographs—
a laundry truck, seconds after.
Phone in the apartment ringing
above the accident & a coroner
careful enough to stay speechless
until the wind picks up
& the passersby can smell simply
the blood, like fresh wood or
cut