Back to Issue Ten.

Dear Machiavelli-Mouth



Tonight, the storm makes a de Kooning
of the sky. Clouds the color
of your mother’s necklace—
let’s call it ferocious sensuality

the one we lost between Amarillo
and August.
Over and over. Silently. The clasp
breaking.                                 The way an & never would.
So what
if  we grieve             for what chokes
us. Let’s coax
another year, one more frontier,
one more fuck
this drowning
—              Or
we could stop right here, between the sky

and the road-dead deer.
Here:      I’ll be the desert.
You be the plains.
Let’s lie down with all that nothing
between us.
The wind will wear our promises down
to bone beads
small enough to string—
or swallow.

Fritz Ward‘s poems have appeared in more than seventy journals, including AGNI, Gulf Coast, American Letters and Commentary, Hotel Amerika, Another Chicago Magazine, Blackbird, and others. He is a recipient of the Cecil Hemley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and his chapbook, Doppelganged, was published by Blue Hour Press. His full-length manuscript has been a finalist and semi-finalist for the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Prize, the National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Prize, Four Way Books Levis Prize, and several other contests. He currently lives just outside of Philadelphia and works at Swarthmore College.