Manifest

Sir star, Herr Lenz, white season body
master snapping masts in half, absent
winds’ workmanship: what window
will I look you through, what brook, stream

creaking past fretwork weeds, clouds
in the context of cold? Lord knot
to be untied, skiff hard alee ill winds:
a hiss of wish and cinders and I

am warm, crossing dazed oceans by hand
to sow the doubtful sea with drought. Mine
of rain and seize and sluice, you change

your mind again, a rage for green waves’
open vowels, undrinkable. No talking
to the weeds, no talking with the snow.

Reginald Shepherd, “Manifest” from Otherhood. Copyright © 2003. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, www.pitt.edu/~press/. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.
Source: Otherhood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003)
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