On the fifth floor I spent 10 days
learning how to walk never far
above the earthworms, never far
below the sky. The darkness there
had nothing to do with an absence
of light and it wasn’t a voice
calling me. Now I’ve been awake
a thousand years, wouldn’t be surprised
to find a forest fire in my closet
or an eye in a cut-open apple. All night
passing cars throw luminous figures
against the wall that flee like angels
given the wrong address. All night
a woman down the hall screamed how
a wound wanted its knife back.
Magnificent must have been the bird
whose claws dropped me, magnificent
my scars. The old heart, cut apart
and out, they wouldn’t show me.
Dean Young's new and selected poems, Bender, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.