Skip to content →

The Fire Always Starts From The Underside

on gay sanctuary land in Tennessee

We all practiced cutting down a tree.

Held the ax/

held our breath/we watched it fall

across a creek/we needed

a bridge. We had been many years

without one and we needed one.

We all practiced gathering things/we

showed one another our piles. There

was water. Birds all black, with maybe

a head shaped like this: [redacted]

Held hands before each meal.

Did and did not want to share.

I wore the fox’s face

to the family pictures. You

were a lamb and a bear.

from Poetry Northwest 13.1 Summer & Fall 2018More by Oliver Bendorf from the library

Copyright © Oliver Bendorf
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Oliver Bendorf Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

css.php