Knives Whistle

Cut from a mail bag

without a return address,

this land whispers its name

from a waterfall’s hairline,

pressed flat under bent knee.


Lifting your head

to look past coming night—
                           knives whistle.


You scribble an address

to a place where weeds

door the passage back.


Stone in throat,

your hand reaches

to clutch a leaf,

as you turn

toward the rising moon—



Copyright © 2020 by Sherwin Bitsui. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 17, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem is part of a series of postcard-like pieces. The world in the frame of the poem has transformed. A reconstructed embodiment of a new ‘here’ emerges.”
Sherwin Bitsui