posted May 4, 2010

You are not done yet. Have you
hammered any copper into crows,
crocodiles, wheels, swords,
an hourglass, a woman's mouth, a globe, a moon,
as in your alphabet books?
No. So go to a slaughterhouse
and listen to the butcher
and the horse as they converse.
Go to the town where your father
pedaled a bicycle and delivered telegrams
to mothers of dead sailors.
Go to a barbershop and describe
how the barber sweeps away storms of hair—
what remains of each customer—
after each customer leaves,
and once more, for good measure,
at the end of the day.

Craig Awmiller lives in Los Angeles. He has been published in The Quarterly and online in elimae, Oranges and Sardines, and Word Riot.

We published Awmiller’s poem “Across the Fields” in Issue 33.