Published on Academy of American Poets (

Soft Volcano

                                                  We have done little harms to each other,

and we shared soup when the moment was right.

Remember the nights we animalled until full dawn,

                                                               got vicious and chomped the starlight,

                  the gashed darkness spread like sick around this place.

I still stop dead for the marvelous mouth of you,

                                                      even if our skins droop and waver,

cleft and lift at inopportune times.

                                 Now the scent of baby heads, of mother mouths and dishes.

                   Good morning, little headache of this life I inadvertently chose.

                                                    I wish to make a ravishing of you. 



Copyright © 2018 Libby Burton. This poem originally appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review. Used with permission of the author.



Libby Burton

Libby Burton is the author of Soft Volcano (Saturnalia Books, 2018), which was selected by Ross Gay as the winner of the 2017 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Date Published: 2019-01-28

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