Published on Academy of American Poets (


A vacant hour
before the sun—
and with it a valve's 
pneumatic hush,
the deep and nautical
clunk of wood,
chanson du ricochet
of rivet gun,
trowel tap,
and bolt drawn—

the moon sets
and water breaks.

Curled within
a warm pleroma,
playing for time,
you finally turn
and push your face
toward November's 
glint of frost,
grains of salt,
weak clarities 
of dawn.


Copyright © 2010 by Devin Johnston. Used with permission of the author.


Devin Johnston

Devin Johnston was born in Canton, New York in 1970, and grew up in North Carolina. He received a PhD from the University of Chicago.

Johnston is the author of several collections of poetry, including Far-Fetched (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), Traveler: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), and Sources (Turtle Point Press, 2008), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A co-founder of Flood Editions, Johnston teaches at Saint Louis University in Missouri where he lives. 

Date Published: 2010-10-01

Source URL: