Put nothing down to distress the reader.
No barking dog.
No rustle in the place whispers belong
or photos of petals near collapse.
Erase oranges of confusing taste, a face
wrinkled or in pain,
a map with waterless rivers or water
without a bend,
still in darkness. Here, where mystery
beyond hope comes too near,
make a bright flight of leaves
descend, none to smear all our spotless
rivers. A map folds and unfolds, does not
bunch or wrinkle. Rainbows to last.
The First Endlessness of Eden.
This was the spot I was to start on, a leg
steps out of the lake,
a step falters instead into dashes that spread without prints onto the screaming bank.
Landis Everson, "A Poem That Starts Out Wrong" from Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005. Copyright © 2006 by Landis Everson. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005
(Graywolf Press, 2006)