Migration

To write means to drown nothing more

I write you letters which means I drown in specific places the shape of an alphabet the shape of a paper a face

Here let me erase what I’ve written

No let me erase the previous beloved to whom I wrote

The globe is full of plastic made to look like snow the bowl is full of things pretending to be fruit incapable of rot

Fruit is the womb of the plant is the mute sweetness of hope

To write means to drown in memory the birds clotting in a New Mexico refuge a crane
age 38 years a crane age 7 weeks

The way they sound like traffic raucous in the cornfields the way they fold themselves up like letters mail themselves across the dry distances

Listen to the season’s beckon and call to the body’s ceaseless tide

The heart invented migration migration its only task

It takes what arrives invites it to stay

But only for a while

Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison’s second book, The Book of Endings (U of Akron, 2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first book, Displacement (Mariner, 2009) won the Bakeless Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Look for recent and forthcoming poems in West Branch, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore IRL and at leslie-harrison.com on the web.
Leslie Harrison

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Author: Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison’s second book, The Book of Endings (U of Akron, 2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first book, Displacement (Mariner, 2009) won the Bakeless Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Look for recent and forthcoming poems in West Branch, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore IRL and at leslie-harrison.com on the web.