[you burn smoother than any…]

you burn smoother than any blend you smoke       grace the matchbook, grace
twine framing a splinted instrument       daredevil of FM radio, on the make & graced
darker blue must fade, eventually, to white, & your eye burns C-A-M-E-L to the pyramids
& the desert sand, its trio of palm trees, the hooves of a water-bearing animal       grace
shadows wobbling home from the bowling alley       visions holy & grace the hallucinations of gloomy
      the clerk not much older than you       fine print & grace not magnification, mountains
over which days depart       grace the years when he thought, I will carry the world
      you burn
deciduous & the trees undress between these first days of the failing season


Michael Robins is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Ladies & Gentlemen (Saturnalia Books, 2011) and In Memory of Brilliance & Value (Saturnalia Books, 2015). He teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. For more information, visit www.michaelrobins.org