samuel burt


I’m sorry about the dishes, and have been for some time.

On your shelf, my books

begin to behave like your books.

For all our learning, my tongue remains

a blunt instrument. But whatever yours taught mine

made your teeth’s numb typography

as familiar as my own.

Like smooth feet skating

over the sidewalk framing my first home, where knotweed

usurps split pavement, every fourth slab ajar

for furtive maple roots

to sneak glimpses of passing legs.

You’ve yet to work out whether

we’re built to die alone,

though now I’m sure that absence is less fact than feeling.

Could have sworn

something used to shade that naked house down the block.

As white siding sops up evening’s deepest blue

a golden window shoots it clean through.

Samuel Burt is a poet and artist from Iowa, currently pursuing his poetry MfA at Bowling Green State University. His work may also be found in Rattle, Salt Hill, and Arc Poetry Magazine.