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About this Poem 

“It’s always difficult to reconcile the fact that the tissue of words can outlast a human life, or that the ‘ugly grin’ of one predator is that of all predators. Or that the past, present, and future are all one time. Or that books were once trees.”
Mark Irwin

Poof!

A shark swims into the bay, swirls, and then rises with the ugly grin of millennia.

A match flame to a cigar, years later a campfire, and long after a house on fire.

Love—to forget language and act on instinct, its indestructible form.

—Something written on a piece of paper after an astonishing event. That paper
found a long time later.

I am, I am, she said, licking a grape Popsicle in July. Make it last, he said right after.

It seemed as though she had leapt toward her own cremation.

A few books shining like the wood of trees. —Ones that I’ve climbed or held.

Copyright © 2014 by Mark Irwin. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2014 by Mark Irwin. Used with permission of the author.

Mark Irwin

Mark Irwin

Mark Irwin is the author of A Passion According to Green (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2017). He lives in Colorado and Los Angeles.

by this poet

poem
When within ourselves in autumn we feel the autumn
I become very still, a kind of singing, and try to move
like all things green, in one direction, when within ourselves
the autumn moves, thickening like honey, that light we smear
on faces and hands, then touch the far
2
poem

   Sunday mornings I would reach
high into his dark closet while standing
   on a chair and tiptoeing reach
higher, touching, sometimes fumbling
   the soft crowns and imagine
I was in a forest, wind hymning
   through pines, where the musky scent
of rain clinging to damp
poem

Now light turns the room a deep orange at dusk and you

think you are floating, but in truth you are falling, and the fall

is so slow, yet precise, like climbing a ladder of straw. Now

leaning forward, you open your hands that keep opening. Is

this what Yes feels like? Making a shore where no