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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 6, 2017.
About this Poem 
“This poem is from a sonnet series. The sonnet can be like a box I try to fill with water, family  stories being so much water. My head did a mash-up of Genesis 1:2 and John 1:1, which left me with the notion that in the beginning, the word is carried upon the face of the waters. In the box the lines kind of slosh back and forth. Do parents give a child her face or does she make it? I don’t know much, but I know sometimes it’s good to take a face off, leave it in the water. I hope my daughter finds these words and this water when she needs them.”
—Farid Matuk

from "For a Daughter/No Address"

like the shapes we made in the things we said were demanding of us
now you ask me why the sky is a tank full of lemonade out back 
all wet tonight and bugs call up a swamp in this desert in my story 
my dad wrote all the wrong names for her on a brick that could lift 
through my mother’s window came the words arrayed in glass 
dusting San Martincito on her dresser cast in plastic with spaces in his robes
a home for the hen the dog made mild in the skirts of the mongrel saint
still lining a thin easy silence around me come the scenes all down our street 
in someone’s car music each word lifted into its own space thumps in the moon’s
heavy sleep breath there are extensions we can read what we said 
it’s such a simple printshop so mothers might tell us about what came 
to be more known     a pear tree in the commons and really 
the words left idle beside     if they could tell us about the forms
if these came to lift them if we could ask sin miedo y sin piedad

Copyright © 2017 by Farid Matuk. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 6, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Farid Matuk. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 6, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Farid Matuk

Farid Matuk

Farid Matuk is the author of This Is a Nice Neighborhood (Letter Machine Editions, 2010). He currently serves as a poetry editor for Fence and teaches at the University of Arizona.

by this poet


will she be closer to the falling away of the gaze of things than others?
hands on the water she calls scene setting
hands on the table water over the houses and hills swimming
not the ocean or the sea but the frame of time she'll tell of
wild happy yeses in her hands
she bites through in

Difficult once I've said things 

to know them this morning

the lights above the tollway all off 

at exactly 7:36

all "we took our yellow from the pewter sky."

But we have so many 

things!   Stories

about our diction, the leather couch

some trees and our ages.

What about all the rooms the sky makes—