poem index


David Keplinger

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David Keplinger is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Another City (Milkweed Editions 2018). His other collections include The Most Natural Thing (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2013), The Prayers of Others (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2006), The Clearing (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2005), and The Rose Inside (Truman State University Press, 1999).

by this poet


Lincoln, leaving Springfield, 1861,
         boards a train with a salute: but it is weak.
To correct it, he slides his hand away
         from his face as if waving, as if brushing
the snows of childhood from his eyes.

The train is coming east. In the window

He didn’t want the EKG. He didn’t want
To know. But the nurse attached
Its greasy patches to his chest to read.
From which all things spray violent
And out, there is a point of singularity.
In Michelangelo’s sculpture of the heart,
For instance, the heart wears the costume
Of David’s body. In the eyes of the

                —David Abram

Like an enormous leech the pancreas lies with its head tucked into the duodenum, upside down, the tail outstretched over it, an animal curled in on itself. In the preserve jar of the belly, it wriggles like a strange,