After Seeing an Assemblage by Anita Boyle

Richard Widerkehr

Yes, we have wasp nests, snail shells, gaskets, 
pond scum, circuit boards, and capacitors.  
When the moon starts going to funerals, reading obits
for the ones whose burial this insensate entity
might wish to see--still, we have blue wire, a level.
Maybe we’re enablers, and we want to heal
certain mute, lacquered rooms.  
Would it be therapeutic
if we breathed? 

Perhaps, we can say it, even if it’s mawkish,
like a story of two siblings
who haven’t seen each other, ostensibly,
in seventy years, till they get together on the air waves
when Delilah, the deejay and soul-seamstress, 
plays them a song, “You Are the Wind
Beneath My Wings.”  It’s sappy, yes, 
but, as you say, 
it doesn’t have to be--it depends
on how you handle things. 

Okay, we have smudged hand-made paper, 
graphite, dragonfly nymphs, rusty nails, 
lights across the water, and maybe someone
touches your wrist and asks, 
Yoohoo, don’t you know, it was me
left that blue plastic star

Scotch-taped to your slot-neck guitar?



Richard Widerkehr’s new book, In The Presence Of Absence, will come out from MoonPath Press in 2017. He earned his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan. He has two collections of poems: The Way Home (Plain View Press) and Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press), along with two chapbooks. Tarragon Books published his novel, Sedimental Journey, about a geologist in love with a fictional character. Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Arts & Letters, Sweet Tree Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Floating Bridge Review, Gravel, Naugatuck River Review, and Cirque. Other poems are forthcoming in Measure, Chiron Review, The Binnacle, Avatar, and Mud Season Review. He’s worked as a writing teacher and, later, as a case manager with the mentally ill. He lives in Bellingham, WA. 

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