For a collection steeped in drowning, Wilson continuously keeps readers afloat, buoyed by the promise and ever-present force of a mother’s love.
Answer the call of the flute—
the lost impulse of the absent poets,
the incomplete painting, the unrained cloud,
the prophecy of an upcoming confession—
Before grasping, taking
consider the litigation
Haul your paper ships up the scorched shore
and then sleep, little-boy captain –
may you never hear the evil spirits
sailing now in flocks.
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Look mum it’s Ai
the number that escaped
the last of your sums, the figure
that doesn’t add up.
He was as calm as his family wanted,
managing a laugh each day of his life
and washing the traces away
with soap and water
dry county: what hydrates more than
water? / whatever it is / will it bring back
feeling in your limbs / will it stay in your
stomach during the august photoshoot you
showed up to woefully hungover?
This morning he’d breathed
the death before death
that wakes us
but it was only thought snow, and nothing
when it began, a thingless veil, a reign
of molecules, so we could overlook
the beauties and hazards of being
burdened and cold.