poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, March 18, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I wrote ‘Colorado’ as a persona poem for a friend who was moving to begin studies in an MFA program. I'd been reading Grace Paley's poetry and desperately wanted some of her empathy and extraordinary consideration for others to be infused in a simple narrative of my own.”
—Carl Adamshick

Colorado

My dream lives close to my lungs.
Sometimes I feel it as a pen
spilling ink in the dark purse
of my breathing. My body
lives here in Colorado,
in an apartment with a few plants.
I am what the experts refer to
as history, a small totality
making its way to the future.
In the evening, I inherit death
as an idea, as a subject I’ll be tested on.
Mid-afternoons, I take long walks.
I live by myself as the state lives
by itself in borders it had nothing
to do with. I, too, have a river.
If you ask, I’ll tell you all about the light.

Copyright © 2016 by Carl Adamshick. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Carl Adamshick. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Carl Adamshick

Carl Adamshick

Adamshick’s debut poetry collection, Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011), was selected by Marvin Bell for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award. 

by this poet

poem
We took your food and in a few days 
you'll see we took your excrement.

We've devised such intricate rules. 	

We've agreed, signed papers. We took the papers.

We took your pain, your dignity. 
We took your language and watched 
as religion fell from you.

We took your death,
strung it as a jewel on a silver
poem

It is nice to be without answers
at the end of summer.
Wind lifting leaves from branches.

The moment laid down like something
in childhood and forgotten, until later,
when stumbled upon, we think:
this is where it was lost.

The sadness isn't their sadness.
The

poem
should be green 
to represent an ocean.
It should have two stars 
in the first canton, 
for us and navigation. 
They should be of gold thread, 
placed diagonally, 
and not solid, 
but comprised of lines. 
Our flag should be silky jet. 
It should have a wound,
a red river the sun must ford
when flown at half-mast