by William Walsh

I will read her poem
but it hurts to the bone
to find her here in such fine pages
like the time I found her
wrinkled in linenwith her teacher
and I stoodover them
the sleep-smell

of sex
emptying from her

how I wanted
to lasso his twins

with a shoestring
and slam the door

shut but instead
I read his poem

about his wife
from his debut

until he woke
and ran

down the street
his clothes

clutched like a stack
of loose twenties.

It’s simply amazing
how some people

are frightened
by a 12-gauge

sense of humor.
The arched back

of fog
whiskers through

the night as
I feel my skin


by this darkness

my heart
under my

her beauty

my reasoning.


blackbird_William-Walsh_lgeWilliam Walsh has published five books: Speak So I Shall Know Thee: Interviews with Southern Writers, The Ordinary Life of a Sculptor, The Conscience of My Other Being, Under the Rock Umbrella: Contemporary American Poets from 1951-1977, and most recently David Bottoms: Critical Essays and Interviews (McFarland). His work has appeared in the AWP Chronicle, Five Points, the Flannery O’Connor Review, the James Dickey Review, The Kenyon Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, the North American Review, Poets & Writers, Rattle, Shenandoah, the Valparaiso Review, and elsewhere. He is also a world-renowned photographer.

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