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About this Poem 

"This poem is part of a longer sequence of poems whose origins come from time spent along the D&R Canal in New Jersey. Have you been there? You should go. Despite the violence in the poem it is a dazzlingly beautiful place. And only one hour from Penn Station!" —Michael Dickman

From the Canal

Michael Dickman

Something breathes
on a dead deer
and the hair inside its ears
wave

Headlights and
rubber

Water fills the black eyeholes that keep seeing everything reflected back from skidding
         black macadam

Someone cut your feet off

Someone moved your leg across the street

Someone whistled

Giving birth
you give birth to steam
and maggots

Strange new butterflies

Copyright © 2013 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 18, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 18, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Michael Dickman

Michael Dickman

Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award

by this poet

poem
What are the birds called
in that neighborhood
The dogs

There were dogs flying
from branch to
branch

My friends and I climbed up the telephone poles to sit on the power lines dressed like
   crows

Their voices sounded like lemons

They were a smooth sheet
They grew

black feathers

Not
poem
You don't have to
be afraid
anymore

His super-outfit is made from handfuls of shit and garbage blood and pinned together
   by stars

Flying around
the room
like a mosq-
uito

Drinking all the blood
or whatever we
have

to save us
who

need to be saved


*


I whispered     To the
poem
There is a way
if we want
into everything

I'll eat the chicken carbonara and you eat the veal, the olives, the small and glowing
   loaves of bread

I'll eat the waiter, the waitress
floating through the candled dark in shiny black slacks
like water at night

The napkins, folded into paper