The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
When you have left me
the sky drains of color
like the skin
of a tightening fist.
The sun commences
its gold prowl
batting at tinsel streamers
on the electric fan.
Crouching I hide
in the coolness I stole
from the brass rods
of your bed.
It was hardly a high-tech operation, stealing The Scream.
That we know for certain, and what was left behind--
a store-bought ladder, a broken window,
and fifty-one seconds of videotape, abstract as an overture.
And the rest? We don't know. But we can envision
moonlight coming in through the broken