Monday Aug 08

Schlueter Poetry Kirk Schlueter received his MFA in poetry at Southern Illinois-University Carbondale. His poetry has been a finalist for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the Yemassee contest, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Stream, Ninth Letter, and Green Mountains Review among others. He has been awarded a full scholarship to the NYS Summer Writers Institute, and has been part of the Hungry Young Poets Reading Series.

Body Language

not what we say to others—hunched shoulders

or flirtatious smile—but what we mean to ourselves—

aches that fill us like wine in a glass—names we chant

in the soap-crusted mirror when no one is there to object—

my first tennis coach insisted—never say anything

to yourself you wouldn’t let someone say to you—

bonefire / a wreck of bells / the boy who wore fever for a crown—

always, to speak is to change—to be shaped by what is said—

and I’ve always been most fluent in how I’ve failed—

words running hot through the jet of my blood

Selfie with Collapsed Rail Bridge
I-64, Illinois-Indiana Border

Miles away, the rusted coin of the sun scrapes free
of the horizon. As the sky smears with light,

it seems clear this is how the world will end:
a slow, sagging ruin, and the scrum of water

over brittle metal. No blood, no thunder.
Just this bruised land scratched down to bone,

the only dirge the sharp calls
of the night herons in their sandbar nests.