I am hopping like a crow hopping
like a child for candy.

I am sustaining
utterly unromantic injuries
in, and entirely through
neglect in the operation of,
a true luxury

I am an interval:
the orca turns gorily on its trainer
just moments after
it has finally understood
what “trainer” means.

All government is provisional,
and what’s the difference?
If we just end up back at politics?

If I’m whittling myself down
and have a ways left to go?


Benjamin Paloff‘s books include the poetry collections And His Orchestra (2015) and The Politics (2011), both from Carnegie Mellon. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Conduit, New American Writing, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, and others. Twice a fellow of the NEA, he is associate professor of comparative literature at the University of Michigan.

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