Published on Academy of American Poets (


I put shells there, along the lip of the road.
Bivalves from last summer’s dinners. dog eats
a charred rock.

                          I have begun practicing
                          to eat
                          as well
                          with my left hand.
to slow
let it go.

              Don’t spit there,
              but walk to another room,
              another depositing drain

                                          enamel periphery 

water still small circle
in a slippery basin.


Copyright © 2016 by Douglas A. Martin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 13, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I was struck by particular attentions in the work of Jennifer Wynne Reeves, a painter who also wrote and who I was fortunate enough to have the chance to hear read before she died. I still place a lot of stock in one of the earliest poetry lessons I learned—that the word stanza means room. I suppose I go in and out a lot and keep letting things in.
—Douglas A. Martin


Douglas A. Martin

Douglas A. Martin is the author of Once You Go Back (Seven Stories Press, 2009).

Date Published: 2016-10-13

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