Michael Wasson: “Aposiopesis [or, The Field Between the Living & the Dead]”

Aposiopesis [or, The Field Between the Living & the Dead]

& forgive me
for I cannot

tell you how
to begin

but here
is the body

like the urge
to pray

your mouth
already gone.

& we never
said you: a boy


the animal made
with two hands

& lost
in the field

for human life

to reenter
as if through

a door

yet the dead
who love

are still

the touch

of blood-
warmed skin—

abandon you
like every

like this

single paradise
of every-

body’s silence
rusting day-

light into
the only dusk

we have
been made

to see.

Michael Wasson is the author of This American Ghost (YesYes Books, 2017), winner of the Vinyl 45 Chapbook Prize. His poems appear in American Poets, Drunken Boat, Gulf CoastKenyon Review, Narrative, and Bettering American Poetry. He is nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation and lives abroad.

Image: Joel Pilger