on the thigh
waiting with an uncle
child in a hospital asking does time have enough
the crow’s fear of inclusion. eve’s perfectly
forgotten ribs. the nothing I mean to my
dentist. the cemetery where all the un-boyed
went to eat paper. the band-aid in the belly
of a baptized child. yawn of kites.
upon waking, my son knows he’s been moved.
beside him I am crooked until he bites my arm.
he is as heavy as the stomach of the angel that
nightly kisses mine. illness has the patience of a
shadow but cannot teach my eyes to kneel.
time is god’s tenure as the lost tooth of sleep.
in your ear is a spider afraid of the way I swim.
I remain made of
from a son’s
here and there
all imagery is the same.
if the food
is in your mouth
it’s too late.
—First four poems above are from Barton Smock’s self-published
collection an old idea one had of stars (February 2020). “Tame
Ache” is from his collection Motherlings (self-published, June 2019).
Poems appear here with his permission.
is the author of a full-length collection of poetry, Ghost Arson (Kung Fu
Treachery Press, 2018); a chapbook of poetry, infant*cinema (Dink Press,
April 2016); and three self-published books of poetry. He lives in Columbus,
Ohio, and writes often at kingsoftrain.com.