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About this Poem 

“I wrote this poem in the middle of packing to leave a place I had lived in for fourteen years. So the poem is about coming and going, and also about the arrival of a thought or a memory. It is an attempt to remember that one day we will all be dead and gone. If I can remember, I find that I act with more kindness, love, and right action—so the poem is also a spell or a prayer to never forget this.”
Sarah Messer

Spark of the Sky Stag’s Great Heart

strung from a thought arrived through the keyhole grasping
the hand of another

I will begin with my mouth

then live with antlers remembering the light inside, always to breathe this unforgetting

and his body shaped like a crabapple tree

or a mother raised by a wolf looking back at the mirror

and trying not to break anvils on the bottles of blame

in another life: smell of moss, stream water, depressions of dark orange rocks which trap tiny fish

the consequence of silence: a field beneath opening clouds

on that morning I woke to the sound of the blue jay and used a small silver key

some day we will all be gone from this place

now that the live oak has thrown down all its caramel-colored leaves, thought lives in the ear-shaped idea of this only

Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Messer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 29, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Messer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 29, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Sarah Messer

Sarah Messer

Sarah Messer is the author of Dress Made of Mice (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). She works at White Lotus Farms and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

by this poet

poem

Moonlight slept quiet beneath the grandstand,

like flower petals, like highway snowstorms, like each thought
not of November or battlefields. My moping climbed

the Pegasus inside my chest which sped me to you
in this last century of petrol, with my socialism wanting.

I

poem

As no assistance could be expected
of the ocean, I turned to the trumpeting
tunnel of sky and rummaged
the tops of plum birch turning
their leaves like coins, then
to the tumbler sweating
on the porch rail. The sky,
the color of whale oil. The wind,
a box of uncolored letters

2
poem
Line to be sewn into a skirt hem
held in my mouth ever since the  unraveling 

Line beneath a bridge
for years without hope I stretched my arms into the river searching for you

Line to be sent to the cornfield
history is a hallway of leaves.

Line written for electric wires
your voice