Poems of the Week – Christopher Salerno


Photocopy of the Oral Tradition

I haven’t papered the osprey’s means
of drying out.

To become to bravery
what saying is to the sentence.

Day starts its animals.

We expect
the words will come to us.

The osprey boring in the tall air,
drawn big for its descent,

is hungry for silver.
I copy one

method of ruffling wings,
and the minnow’s way of resting.

Gladioli Patience

The rigging ran perfectly tethered
to the drapes. Parking one bring thing
against a wall, why is it we can’t
be careful? Or urgency is to dumb
as darkness is to doing wrong.
There’s a last religion. Put down
the dowsing rods, lured southward like
a tree in a wind that taunts it.
A spider dips itself in cranial light, crawls
all day across the finished room.
Impossible, picturing a white wall,
a terrace where rain pools
in a cactus flower, the rest off
to the Hudson. North American
water where you’ve already
written distress, please look.


Two crayons float toward a leaf.
Chlorine revises them.

You set adrift in post-op sleep.
If we could just

return to the tilt
of May. Inside, I am

tagging Ghost on this mirror.
If you know,

what use is the thought
after this one?

* all poems from Minimum Heroic, The Mississippi Review Poetry Series, 2010.

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