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for Joanne Kyger


Throbs of words

This is a swelling
These are heaps















   piling rocks for you
   missing all of you
                                 the mystery of friends
                                             we’ll mis-sing and misremember
we are the minds of this country
               rich robes saying
       walking strong and oblivious, with pomp and
  we’ll accuse
                     Like a lantern

We’ll say
         instead, in a passing




                                                     was a choosing
                                       left embers burn out           Time
                                             Outliver, you

                                    loose dirt and hasty

and poems,
are mine
what Eyes














                            of taking
  soaked into you as a message
         of herbs
         of oils
         of wet ground
         of char
 a scent longer
 what’s left is

to peel back
   a casement
one goes to
it’s not an absence

each poem ajar














    the names to myself
                                         and kept
                      I threw 3 coins
          metals and fire—
  the wind let out, singed
       There would be

                             & hissing pebble
                         & rocks
                    All sticks


           in these old kinds of poem
There would be no words















Mike Cavuto

Michael Cavuto is a poet whose first book, Country Poems, was published by Knife Fork Book in 2020. After six years in New York City, he recently moved to Durham, North Carolina. He is an editor for the Slow Poetry in America Newsletter and auric press.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2017

All Issues