Back to Issue Forty-Four

Reading Eat Stop Eat Under the Joshua Tree


Let the desert in. Fill yourself
and narrow
like the hourglass to the grain:
amaranth, farro, spelt.

If you must eat, eat
the ancients. If you must break
fast, break
saṃsāra and give

notice to the world: Dear Future,
we can go without
you. The mind
that thinks with meat

thinks it’s meat.
Let your stomach do the work:
breathe. That pressure
in your chest

drops, your eyes sinking
inward like shadows on a mountain
on the clearest of days.
Don’t the stars,

for all their mass, leave you
crumbs of light?
In a dream nothing can be read.
If you must

wake, wake
blank and centered as the page—
your edges so fine
you could open a finger.


Nicholas Yingling‘s work can be found in Poetry Daily, The Missouri Review, 32 Poems, Pleiades, Colorado Review, and others. Nicholas Yingling himself can be found in a trailer with his aging pitbull, Clementine.

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