poem index


Phillip B. Williams

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Phillip B. Williams. Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan.

Phillip B. Williams is the author of Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016), winner of the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Lambda Literary Award. He has received a Whiting Award and Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He currently teaches at Bennington College and lives in Bennington, Vermont.

by this poet

             In the first place—I wanted him and said so
when I had only meant to say. His eyes
opened beyond open as if such force would unlock me
to the other side where daylight gave reason 
for him to redress. 

                                          When he put on his shirt, 
after I asked him to keep

            When you were mine though not
mine at all permanently, just a body borrowed
without permission, a body interrupted,

                           the sky opened like a secret in a mouth

mouth with a word in it
word with an arrowhead in its