Lunchtime with Woodwinds

I wish I could write a song
to make the world
yield to this rushing
lapping what starts
tonguing what parts
any possible other world than this

inertia for pink medallion
inertia for those skeptics
in the building

who think of the unknown
as hemorrhage—quick stop
that thing from surfacing

I want to rub along
the webbing I want nothing but
the cove’s yawning jaw

for how else could possibility emerge
you see that honey
seeping through cracks?

let’s consider unbearable facts
beat this meat against the rocks
you call that virtue? knock knock

is this the proper place for the symposium?
small of my back requests unfolding
requests enveloping entry

call the operators
to open pathways
to vessels which gleam

rightly and rush
to make this here inlet
a humid blue bowl

to resist enclosure
and the loaded laying down
of structure on soft earth

as desire can never perish
blind in the rush of weeds
trying to get a glimpse

of the law
falling away
and in passing breathing lift


Copyright © 2016 by Alli Warren. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 16, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“‘Lunchtime with Woodwinds’ fantasizes that we might bring another world into being through sheer force of desire—a world where capitalist time has been wiped from our hearts, a world in some ways already here; if we listen, it seeps everywhere, in the rocks and tides, in our bodies loving and longing and fighting. This poem takes its first line from a song (‘Sweet Clean Air’ by Bobby Brown), and I wrote it on a lunch break sitting on a bench in the sun staring at a smelly pine in the blazing month of August.”
—Alli Warren