Speak to Us

By Katie Ford Katie Ford
For all of my years, I’ve read only living signs—
bodies in jealousy, bodies in battle,
bodies growing disease like mushroom coral.
It is tiresome, tiresome, describing
fir cones waiting for fires to catch their human ribs
into some slow, future forest.

My beloved, he tires of me, and he should—
my complaints the same, his recourse
the same, invoking the broad, cool sheet suffering drapes
over the living freeze of heart after heart,
and never by that heart’s fault—the heart did not make itself,
the face did not fashion its jutting jawbone
to wail across the plains or beg the bare city.

I will no longer tally the broken, ospreyed oceans,
the figs that outlived summer
or the tedious mineral angles and
their suction of light.

Have you died? Then speak.
You must see the living
are too small as they are,
lonesome for more
and in varieties of pain
only you can bring into right view.

Source: Poetry (November 2012).


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

November 2012
 Katie  Ford


Katie Ford is the author of Deposition (2002), Colosseum (2008), and Blood Lyrics (2014), all published by Graywolf Press. She teaches at Franklin & Marshall College.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Religion, Faith & Doubt, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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