#Poetry Wed: “You’ve Been Swallowed by a Whale Only You Can Let Go” by Marc McKee

“It’s no surprise that I hate it
when my friend is swallowed by a whale
even if it is only a dream of being swallowed
by a whale, the whale everything ever
all at once and thus a stupefying brick of cloud
borne by Manhattan’s swaying pallbearers

as I think of how to try to bring her out,
and also thus whale after whale full of whales,
all the coffins, the urns, the urns’ ins
and outs, the white whale
of the gone, the swallowed of all the nations, the ones
we feel sawed off from singularly, grief, grief…

…and slip the cinematic tentacles
and slap the needle off the face of the beloved record
and charge into new dreams
like fools that won’t quit singing.
The record spools and loops and pools
and floods into the air, the menacing atmosphere

a whale when a whale moves, an epic wave
taking forever to build
against what tiny forts we’ve made
from pillows and purloined fencing, our cups empty
and refilled a dozen times over, all our sheets in the wind,
our cultivated and distant loves, our locals,

our air…”

Read the entire poem at Copper Nickel.

#Poetry Wed: “Leaving Is A Playground Is Not Love” by Emily Koehn

“It is the indecision of a seesaw. The wood chips. You told me never again live in
tender. The wood has grain as if I could engrave. For you a monkey bar. For me
straw and light. For you the scurry of an ant. The sky spreads out like an arm…”

Read the entire poem at Thrush.

#Poetry Wed: “Skinned” by Katie Knoll

“My uncle is skinning peaches for cobbler because I stink
like city, he says, like iron and exhaust and a girl should know
the taste of something with the sun still inside it, because when I leave
this house and go back to my mama and she breathes me in
he wants me to smell like she used to, like dirt….”

Read the entire poem at Rattle.

#Poetry Wed: “The Truths Only Starlings Will Speak” by Sara Henning

“Wings rutting through dust like glittering,

hardened sky, I’m fool enough to believe

this bird’s dying, not sunning—body unfurling

like a gasoline stain, acrid iridescence rushing

asphalt that could fry an egg to savory silk…”

Read the entire poem at Thrush.

#Poetry Wed: ​”Self-pity” by Cecilia Woloch

“My sister calls all birds suicidal.
Our mother sits in her big green chair,
too weary, even, to talk on the phone.
All afternoon it’s rained and rained—
all the damp world weeping, so I’ve thought.
Self-pity stinks, my mother says…”

Read the​ entire poem at Rattle