Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Directions for Lines that will Remain Unfinished

Line to be sewn into a skirt hem
held in my mouth ever since the  unraveling 

Line beneath a bridge
for years without hope I stretched my arms into the river searching for you

Line to be sent to the cornfield
history is a hallway of leaves.

Line written for electric wires
your voice inside the no history, sitting still

Line for future people
inside the work, only my empty teeth

Line from Maharaj
Presently you are in quietude. Is it on this side of sleep or on the other side? 

Line that cannot be read because of its darkness
impossible walk under weight of honey
away from your hands that break me in half 

Line addressing President Lincoln
when the handle and blade are gone, what remains
of your axe? 

Line to be run over by a lawn mower
afraid of everything and to be of no use.

Line for a distant midnight dog-pack
because I can never speak it

Line to be sewn into a shirt collar
the streak of your finger across the hood of the car

Line for a stone growing old
a sunburst that lands inside a flower

Line written only with your mouth
desire is a trick ghost

Line for the garden weeds
slowly I am nearer to you

Line describing the better qualities of monsters
are we afraid of what we wished for? 

Three lines written for bears
inside cells, water, trees, I am meaningless
darkness and light wind like breath on fur
I carry the circling cities inside me

Line for a leaf blown into the hair of the Master
seeing you, I want no other life

Line for a mouse
to die like that, held in your hands

Credit


Copyright © 2012 by Sarah Messer. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Sarah Messer

Sarah Messer is the author of Dress Made of Mice (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). She works at White Lotus Farms and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Date Published: 2012-01-23

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/directions-lines-will-remain-unfinished