after Lucie Brock-Broido

winter crossing

bleak annulled

dulcimer damaged

choir miraculous

air &

monstrous ravishing

animal fallen

calls nightsky

ghost spectacle

again lynch

light loved

flint bliss

starfish tissue

shrouds lukewarm

sheathes everything

fanatic vanishing


Copyright © 2020 by Constance Merritt. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 22, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“A while back I attended a poetry workshop at the Speed Art Museum that explored randomness as a compositional technique; as a way of trying to re-engage with poetry, I started collecting a single line from the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day emails with an eye to composing a cento. At some point I fell hopelessly behind and abandoned the project. I recently returned to these files to see what, if anything, I might make of a smattering of borrowed words and found that much might be made. I called the file containing this work 'Erasures' as a reflection of the process, but perhaps 'Borrowed Words' or 'Borrowed Tongues' might be a more resonant working title. It is lovely to return at least one of these poems to the soil from which it grew.”
—Constance Merritt