"Library of—"

Dan Beachy-Quick



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oms. el



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Of broken shells—. The sea—.
I want to learn how to read.

That’s not my mouth talking.

Black-headed gulls—.The wind—.
The waves break open another

page. That’s not a page. Nothing
here says I alone.

Sea-spray—. Don’t pray—.
The body came of—. The foam—.

Of crow logic—

      faith floods the world
      & the fool holds on—

      a plank across a synapse
      a board above abyss—.

      Make a nest in virtue—
      so dearly the dove

      with no grammar does—
      empty mouth or olive—

      where home is—is

the conditional mood—

      regret flies over the ocean
      back, hope flies

      over across the sea
      to a land of ice and stone

Of dreams of daughters in heaven
bored—. Diagramming

Desire is the space between
stars. Distance is
the space within

an apple, a bird, a brain.
This makes my mind hurt—
the child bent over

a page, erasing
the numbers. The moon
is bright—. It’s not

a light—.

Eider duck winter sleep
on the froze open sea

these syllables carry care
this blood stays warm as spring

this mind wants to wake
inside what it builds

a nest there on the stones made
of winter’s breast-plucked down

Forget me not
is whose command to give
the feeling of awe got over me
watching my child lace her shoe
the dog opened his mouth
and in the bee flew

the hard work isn’t some agony
in the soul the mouth opens
and the grass grows in the mind its tangle
memory loosens the knot
by pulling tighter the strands her gold
hair as she runs by a band poorly bound

Of glacial water melted in glass tubes—.
Columns not classical—. Not
holding high the roof beams—.
Of those gods—. Light
shines through—

                                        Apollo’s temple at Delphi
                                        the ruins in memory
                                        the genitive of separation
                                        what from what leaves
                                        the columns fell almost all
                                        the walls know you
                                        don’t know yourself so much
                                        remains excessive in the
                                        mind the letter hovering alone
                                        invisible in the air


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Author Bio: Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet and essayist, author most recently of Of Silence and Song (Milkweed Editions, 2017), a collection of essays, fragments, and poems. A recent Guggenheim Fellow, he teaches in the MFA Program of Creative Writing at Colorado State University.