Sarah Messer


Show me an owl gown,
imprint of wings on snow.
Lead me away from the crowd
I’d drown in, mouths
floundering. Sing to me of
moss-covered cloth, your
hand, how often it crosses
my thigh beneath a table, in
public, when we both have to be
quiet, and my mouth so full of hounds
that can bay and betray me, so
singular this constraint,
dormant unsound the way
an owl swoops, hunting
in snow.

Sarah Messer is the author of four books, most recently Dress Made of Mice. She's received poetry fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the NEA, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and others. Currently she teaches in the Residential College at the University of Michigan and cares for the goat herd at White Lotus Farms.