Poem of the Week: January 4th, 2015

Sally Houtman is the author of a non-fiction book and her work has appeared in more than thirty print and online publications, earning four New Zealand writing awards. Her poem, “Pivot clockwise, watch the footing on its fragile crust,” appears in Volume 3, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

By Sally Houtman

because you live on this broken island,
Gondwanaland’s forgotten pedestal of bone

because there is no line of demarcation
between the east and impossibility

because there is no reasoning with the tide
or greed or ghosts or gravity

because the foolish sun is halved twice a day
and the sky remains indifferent, wind-rubbed and bare

because this is no way to live, weeping over onions,
in a winter kitchen, wounds still raw, because

all the earth is just a grave that hoards
its granite, and there is no room in its sarcophagus

for silent, rusted things, because beliefs
will not rest on sturdy hinges and a memoir cannot be written

in the sand, because wishes cannot bruise the air and a swallow cannot roost
higher than it flies, because the tree does not cling to its leaves

and fruit will ripen off the vine, because a hole requires an edge to exist
and because this edge might, at any moment, fall away –

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