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We'll Always Have Carthage

The head must bow to the heart,

which is why I always look down;

if the earth is round and round

I’ll be wrong until the ends of it.

Beautiful, you said, and meant

the sea. Reminding me—

there are walls to be built,

rocks carried.

Now I can’t meet you

or your eyes—just the boats

below in the harbor,


The wind shakes the earth

from its four corners;

the flames are picking up,

or is that me shaking?

Look, I’m right—the sun is underwater.

Now get out of here with that lion’s skin

on your back.

from Poetry Northwest 05.1 Spring & Summer 2010More by Sierra Nelson from the library

Copyright © Sierra Nelson
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Poems Sierra Nelson

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.