Poems Composed Entirely With Last Lines


from Christopher Bursk Poems

he is sorry he never entered
the other Judas
that gives the other pleasure

feel the old pleasure of surrender, tread water, swim in
the other

we tag after him like the dog star at his heel

drowning in each other’s arms
yielding to larger hands than his own

he could still feel the dark earth rising to meet him
and darkening on his lips
it has taken years to build

fool enough to try

pressed against the wall, crying uncle, uncle
crying look, look,
I am thinking of something else



from Karen Volkman Poems

this life you made
you stay close to the shore
not with the compass, not with the map

to you, who grew up inland
who bides her time
every stream every tree every stone
the truant moon
end well

forgive me

I am alive
my hunger is my art

pass me sweetbreads through unbreakable glass



from George Biligere Poems

an old woman has fallen
and the robe fell open

her laughter would have filled
the ash tree

a few years down the line
in the changing light

that would be the end of the ineffable
although nothing is ever really lost

you saw something beautiful
and tucked it away


from Geri Doran Poems

once in a blue, backlit June
as the day goes down
most of it hidden underground forever

Do we lay this failed world at your creche,
in the water hyacinth,
the map of your will?

Do not forget me at dusk
I know about starry skies. I know silent birds.
I want the god I pray to to be real.

As dark holds light
for ripeness, answering
answer me that.



from Gary Soto Poems

the iron-colored hours
each pooled with the shine of previous tears

with lash after lash of a youthful hose
and the erratic splatter on white blouses

under a boy’s sloppy hunger
a mighty hunger

hugging the perpetually hungry earth
my own creamy Nile

the apple of our first sin
igneous, hard-headed rocks

and I choke them all down
not a minute too soon