Published on Academy of American Poets (


My dream lives close to my lungs.
Sometimes I feel it as a pen
spilling ink in the dark purse
of my breathing. My body
lives here in Colorado,
in an apartment with a few plants.
I am what the experts refer to
as history, a small totality
making its way to the future.
In the evening, I inherit death
as an idea, as a subject I’ll be tested on.
Mid-afternoons, I take long walks.
I live by myself as the state lives
by itself in borders it had nothing
to do with. I, too, have a river.
If you ask, I’ll tell you all about the light.


Copyright © 2016 by Carl Adamshick. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I wrote ‘Colorado’ as a persona poem for a friend who was moving to begin studies in an MFA program. I'd been reading Grace Paley's poetry and desperately wanted some of her empathy and extraordinary consideration for others to be infused in a simple narrative of my own.”
—Carl Adamshick


Carl Adamshick

Adamshick’s debut poetry collection, Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011), was selected by Marvin Bell for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award.

Date Published: 2016-03-18

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