I knew I was a god
when you could not
agree on my name

& still, none you spoke
could force me to listen
closer. Is this the nothing

the antelope felt when
Adam, lit on his own
entitling, dubbed family,

genus, species? So many
descendants became
doctors, delivered

babies, bestowed bodies
names as if to say it is to make it
so. Can it be a comfort between

us, the fact of my creation?
I was made in the image
of a thing without

an image & silence, too,
is your invention. Who prays
for a god except to appear

with answers, but never
a body? A voice? If I told you
you wouldn’t believe me

because I was the one
to say it. On the first day
there was no sound

worth mentioning. If  I, too,
am a conductor of air, the only
praise I know is in stereo

(one pair—an open hand & closed
fist—will have to do). I made
a photograph of my name:

there was a shadow in a field
& I put my shadow in it. You
can’t hear me, but I’m there.


Copyright © 2020 by Meg Day. Originally published in Poetry (June, 2020). Reprinted with the permission of the poet.

It’s true that I’m im-
patient under affliction. So?
Most of what the dead can

do is difficult to carry. As for
gender I can’t explain it
any more than a poem: there

was an instinct, I followed
it. A song. A bell. I saw
deer tracks in the snow. Little

split hearts beckoned me
across the lawn. My body
bucked me, fond of me.

Here is how you bear this flourish.
Bud, I’m buckling to blossoms now.

Copyright © 2020 by Oliver Baez Bendorf. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 8, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.