If, after everything, you’re remade,
your voice will be an element set on
a table like bread. The kind eaten
as part of miracle. We are here as elements
and miracles. Transfiguration.
A mirror becomes an animal,
something living to see us and
not forget. We’re to learn to bend
a question into a blank. Make
today’s imaginary kingdom into
a child’s eyes. Raise a field, wild,
into a blackoak grove. And yet
roots find their errors. Impassable mass.
Dust’s habitat in the lung.
An atom becomes cancer,
September becomes a tomb.
My mind becomes a kind of poison.
My thumb and finger,
hammer and barrel of a gun.
My book sunk in an old pond.
Water melted my insides,
slaked lime, remarkable damage.
Water becomes a calendar,
its endless grid a punishing city,
its endless shed held in a single drop.
You drown in ritual, rattle as
time’s skeleton. But if you can explain
the land as light and light as amber
and amber with a word,
you have birthed a name
where there is no name.
You have made bracken into paradise.
Kyle Vaughn’s poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as The Shore (2021 Pushcart Prize nomination), A-Minor Magazine, Adbusters, The Boiler, Drunken Boat, Poetry East, Vinyl, and Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions). He is the author of Lightning Paths: 75 Poetry Writing Exercises and the co-author/co-photographer of A New Light in Kalighat. www.kylevaughn.org / twitter: @krv75 / insta: @kylev75 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org