Lava Lakes and Petrified Forests in the Afterlife

I watched a roomful of faces exert effort to remain unrevealed
all of those efforts took a toll

stoney and cold and somewhat in pain
the proceedings were scripted

to induce just this sort of bland conjunction,  conditions
unremarkable were they not so common

in all we do to govern ourselves and one another,
one wonders, of what are we afraid

do you believe in life everlasting
have you spent time picturing how the world will go on

without you
for some a language of ethics has an appeal

others they say they’re reaching for a means
to find themselves in mystical acclaim

when I put the stick down the throat of the well
as far as it can go, your hair reminds

me of a stream
our eyes often seem to have lives of their own

seeking out one another with no thoughts
for the minds they reveal

as if they’re warning one another
take care, take care

one is bound to maim, steal,
murder, harm

 

 

 

Dara Wier is the author of numerous collections of poetry.  Her new book, IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT is just out by Wave Books.  Other works include You Good Thing (Wave Books, 2013), Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2009), Remnants of Hannah (Wave Books, 2006), Reverse Rapture (Verse Press, 2005, 2006 SFSU Poetry Center Book Award), Hat On a Pond (Verse Press, 2002), and Voyages in English (Carnegie Mellon, 2001). Also among her works are the limited editions (X In Fix) in Rain Taxi’s Brainstorm Series, Fly on the Wall (Oat City Press), and The Lost Epic, co-written with James Tate (Waiting for Godot Books, 1999). Her poetry has been supported by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the American Poetry Review. In 2005 she held the Rubin Distinguished Chair at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, The Fairytale Review, Hollins Critic, jubilat, New American Writing, slope and Volt, among other magazines

 

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