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(The Outskirts of Agnes)


That we sag with many weights

and buoy ourselves with the word—

although the word fails its captain


many a time and to/for no avail—

we of the lesser rank do toil:

take a town like Agnes


with its fine people and subpar soil,

its metal gate and burnt red brick

with a clutch of blue-gray lichen spin.


All night a mayor’s words echoed in my head

and wanting this language myself

and others much like me


found the outskirts of Agnes

and I swear our clapping came like rain.

There were stairs past heavy doors


on shrill hinges and finally a window

looking out over a town,

still Agnes, perhaps, all but lights


now and our eyes tracking out to lights’ end

where water lays a black tarp—

where captains look east and want,


out of the blue, their little red-red.

from Void and CompensationFind more by Michael Morse at the library

Copyright © 2015 Michael Morse
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Published in Michael Morse Poems

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