poem index

The Steam Engine

Elizabeth Willis

I came back to the meadow an unsuspecting hart, trying to wake up from a long night of walking. I was looking for a subtext, a heavy horsy bee doing battle with its inclination. What’s your angle? A little evanescent on the rim, it’s only a willow, beaked and shining, a toothy margin holding up banks. Have we overstayed our party in the heavenly city or are we spilling through its gates trying not to get trampled? On the berm I filled a basket with crashing birds. In the dream you pointed sideways with your thumb where the cars were flying.

Elizabeth Willis, "The Steam Engine," from Meteoric Flowers, © 2006 by Elizabeth Willis. Used by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Elizabeth Willis

by this poet

poem

This is the way water 
thinks about the desert.
The way the thought of water 
gives you something 
to stumble on. A ghost river.
A sentence trailing off
toward lower ground.
A finger pointing
at the rest of the show.

I wanted to read it. 
I wanted to