A Song Called Stitch

I couldn’t get the newsprint

off my face & neck

after having fallen asleep

on the 147 express from Foster

to the water tower & what’s here’s

still hiding its grace.

Now it’s Indiana’s dud spring—

malnourishing a warped, thrashy cold.

Colorado’s snowy autumn, wicked & smooth.

All god’s children, hungry as asphalt,

growing vacantly in the skylot—

So, you did hear your name in the current?

Leave the past’s glorious wrongs

to the box they seep from?

The box needs not an opener.

Not much hinges on you returning to it.

What if I need to stay

in the hurt for a while?

You won’t.

You’ve confused pain

with healing

by worrying the stitch

in your sleepy paths.

The medicines of the era

want a passage into your threading.

What help is on the way?

Help is not on the way.

A song for all my messengers

down to the one & so

into the lyrics’ cadences’

throb’s feel underfoot in the grass.

A yellow line to follow

into the nonvisible

like drifting in after a slash

of piss through the strange ventricles

of the city’s basic unknowns.

What would it mean to follow it?

Running out through the easement

to meadow

up to some alpine clearing?

Or to the ocean?

It’s the song of threshold

to threshold

so say it again

silently in your mind

& carry it off with you


What a long winding sheet

to feel through the news

whored out

not unlike the tindersticks

to white material.

So let us out?

Or, let us back in from without

for us to begin

our set of unthinkable tasks

to separate from one another:

Baby from breath,

fox from lilac,

sink water from hand cupped,

& a sorrow from the sinew

of the four thousand ligaments of the neck.


Joshua Marie Wilkinson (b. 1977, Seattle) is the author of Swamp Isthmus (Black Ocean 2013), The Courier’s Archive & Hymnal (Sidebrow Books 2014), and, with Solan Jensen, directed a film about Califone called Made a Machine by Describing the Landscape (IndiePix 2011). He lives in Tucson, where he teaches at the University of Arizona and edits The Volta and Letter Machine Editions with Noah Eli Gordon.


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  1. Pingback: Table of Contents, Issue Three | Matter

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