Published on Academy of American Poets (


         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


Constance Merritt

Constance Merritt is the author of Blind Girl Grunt: The Selected Blues Lyrics and Other Poems (Headmistress Press, 2017). She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Date Published: 2020-01-22

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