Katie Ford is the author of Deposition, Colosseum, and Blood Lyrics, which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and the Rilke Prize. Colosseum was named among the “Best Books of 2008” by Publishers Weekly and the Virginia Quarterly Review and led to a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Larry Levis Prize. The New Yorker, The Norton Introduction to Literature, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, and The American Poetry Review have published her poems. She served as a 2016 judge for the National Book Award in Poetry. Her next book, If You Have to Go, will be published by Graywolf Press in August, 2018. She is Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the MFA Program at the University of California, Riverside.
The floor of it all isn’t gone,
so I’ll break my heart against it.
Already out in my hand, badly beating,
more wall than I’d imagined, my heart—.
Once struck, I hoped to hear
a jungle sound or two—a white monkey’s shriek,
a fat, fat rain, a lion’s mane swifting the leaf,
an earthy quake . . .
Am I not my heart’s own master?
Remember when you shyly asked a man
to give himself to you, and when he said nothing,
you knew? You stood blank as ache,
yet the heart didn’t break full through.
You know better than to tell it what to do.
--------- Photo Credit: Helge Brekke