by Rachel Kaufman



Culled to bear, culled to bare sucked 

shore, culled to smight 

words from their place, to turn

this tired lake as it swims

past my sight.

Culled to farm, fern

and daffodil, underneath each vased

stem a wet dark falling flails 

to learn. Culled by call, 

for sheepskin, bear 

claw, summertime corn 

in its stalk. Culled stones, 

washed in sea, maimed 

to their places unmoving. 

Culled here to there, where waves

break hymns upon their hearers.

Culled breath

as it falters and floors for

speed, gets bent. Culled

song, shout, for breaking

our panting. Culled pantomime, 

in cadence caught, in a thread 

plucked out and up. 

Culled far voices, sunk 

to almost gone, mist, the wailing ones’ 

dawn unheld as I pick them, 

as I wring them out shy 

over this cool sheet of glass.


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