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I Keep Wanting Grief to be a Garden



University of Iowa, ’16
2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editors’ List

I keep wanting grief to be the garden that blooms at night.
I keep wanting faith like an appendage.
The bike in the frozen lake is not grief.
Grief is not a crawlspace.

I keep hoping the taxi cab will come to mean love when I climb in its backseat.
I keep hoping that belief is bloodborne.
In the dream, I am small again.
The woman who holds me is faceless.

I keep thinking grief will be a language.
I keep wanting love to be a continent.
The paper gown you will wear is the same paper gown my mother wore.
The flowers you give the dying are not a garden.

On the day that your mother dies a hundred thousand other people will die.
On the day my mother died, no celebrities were born, no animals broke loose from the zoo.
The gown that she wore will be ready for me.
The secrets she kept will be my secrets.



In Pubicity



University of Iowa, ’16
2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editors’ List

Pluck as he may, he furries. Peach fuzz on
his forearms & his toes and his ankles are more

suede-like each morning. It weighs low and changes
his bird-voice. Now, each mirror is a portraiture

of a wooly apocalypse that forests his bunghole. Flush across
his meathood & peripheries—hairs of the most wild, scraggly nature.

Soon, he figures, he will be full fleece. Soon,
he will be the black bush in the dry season.

Then, the flocks coming to steal his seeds.
Then, he will feed from the sun.

To speak will be to burn.
And to speak will be to burn.

Max Seifert will graduate from the University of Iowa in May of 2016. He is a research fellow at the International Writing Program and a poetry editor for earthwords: the undergraduate review. His chapbook The Hole of Everything, Nebraska received the 2015 Frances Kahn Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. His poetry and prose have appeared in ink lit mag and plain china.