Greg Wrenn


Thick clouds,
the nameless mystic wrote,
separate us

from you—

if I let go
of space, self,
and time,

could my salvoes

of yearning bust through
to your veiny forearm,
which I can’t help

but imagine? Your crooked nose?

Your hair, unkempt,
too oily?
Your whole body surrenders

to structure,

expectations, it’s as strapping
as the horseheaded man’s
I dreamed

carrying a load of plums

to the end of
a boatless dock;
he wouldn’t turn

to look at me

and I withered. If you won’t
show yourself,
send him instead to my small,

high-ceilinged room.

Make him make me
eat the industrial carpet.
No anointing

whatsoever, no sky.

Wingless, his wings beating
against my back,
I’d pretend to sleep.

Greg Wrenn’s first book of poems, Centaur, won the Brittingham Prize. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and a recipient of the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America as well as the Margaret Bridgman Scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His work has appeared in New England Review, The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. Born and raised in northeast Florida, he is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.
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