“Rough Translation” by Lance Larsen

I slip outside into a corridor of clarity and breeze €”
that pinking time when owls home to barns, when bats

fold their hunger into gloves of sleep and cranes
whoop in the morning like freckled boys on stilts.

One body: some days, I swear, one is almost enough.
But today?   I want to climb free of this narcotic dark,

squeeze into that broken parable we call first light.
Sadness and wind, meadow and awe.   Who will teach

me to listen with leaves, make sky my skin?   I lean,
wondering which of my faces morning will erase first.


Lance Larsen’s most recent poetry collection is Backyard Alchemy (Tampa 2009).   His work appears in such venues as New York Review of Books, Orion, Slate, Poetry Daily, Raritan, LIT, Southern Review, and Best American Poetry 2009.   He has received a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.   He teaches at Brigham Young University, where he serves as associate chair.   In spring 2010, he will direct a theater study abroad program in London.   “Rough Translation” was previously published in Field.

*Non-contest guest post*

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