A shark swims into the bay, swirls, and then rises with the ugly grin of millennia.

A match flame to a cigar, years later a campfire, and long after a house on fire.

Love—to forget language and act on instinct, its indestructible form.

—Something written on a piece of paper after an astonishing event. That paper
found a long time later.

I am, I am, she said, licking a grape Popsicle in July. Make it last, he said right after.

It seemed as though she had leapt toward her own cremation.

A few books shining like the wood of trees. —Ones that I’ve climbed or held.


Copyright © 2014 by Mark Irwin. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“It’s always difficult to reconcile the fact that the tissue of words can outlast a human life, or that the ‘ugly grin’ of one predator is that of all predators. Or that the past, present, and future are all one time. Or that books were once trees.”
Mark Irwin