Published on Academy of American Poets (

Little Errand

I gather the rain

in both noun
& verb. The way

the river banks
its flood, floods
its banks, quiver’s

grammar I carry

noiseless, easy
over my shoulder.

To aim is—I think
of his mouth.
Wet ripe apple’s

scent : sugar,

leather. To aim
is a shaft tipped

with adamant. Angle,
grasp, aim is a way
to hope to take

what’s struck in hand,

mouth. At the river
flood so lately laid

down damage by,
geese sleep, heads
turned under wings

wind tests tremor
in like archery’s
physics shifts

energy, potential
to kinetic : flight—

but not yet :

this grammar’s time
to string a bow, draw
taut the air, send rain

from quiver to verb
to aim to pierce

the scent of such red

flesh. Hope’s arrow’s
anatomy : thin,
feather’s fletching

trembling, it
crests to end

in brightness.


From Companion Grasses (Omnidawn, 2013) by Brian Teare. Copyright © 2013 by Brian Teare. Used with permission of the author.


Brian Teare

Born in Athens, Georgia in 1974, Brian Teare is the author of several poetry collections, including The Room Where I Was Born (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), which was awarded both the Brittingham Prize and the 2004 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.

Date Published: 2015-05-05

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