Sick to death of the hardpan shoulder,

By Greg Glazner Greg Glazner
the froth of noise
the undersides of the cedars make,

the windblown dark that hints
and fails for hours at effacement—
maybe I could claim it isn’t

praying, but it’s asking,
at the least, begging
that these lungfuls of this blackness

eat whatever keeps on swelling
and collapsing in my chest, and be done
with it, no more noise

left hanging in the spaces
between brake lights than a smothered rush
that sounds like suffering

and is nothing. Instead a sobbing isn’t
so much easing from my throat
as shining like black light from my torso,

veining the leaves of weeds, stoning
the whole roadside in a halo—I can feel
the heat of truck lights on my back,

I’m inside that brilliant gravity,
I think of time, I’m in the driver’s
nightmare and it shudders by—

Source: Poetry (February 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2012


Greg Glazner’s Singularity (1997) and From the Iron Chair (1992) are published by W.W. Norton. His poems in this issue are from his multi-genre manuscript “Opening the World.”

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.