Joe Milford

A Cobbler Lost in the Badlands

Being that we are the potentiality

of dimensions to come

let us set out to sea

compass-less. Waves and dunes,

latitudes and longitudes.

All of our efforts before

have amounted to the platitudes

of perfecting preservatives.

Even a dead man’s garden

will continue to grow, but

what may grow there is ever

wilder than any human hand

could plant. Fingernails

and manes,

runes and omens.

If there is an All-Knowing Eye,

it shall remain shut until

there is something altogether new

to be dissected.

We were not made

in God’s image;

we were made to wield

his eyesight.

The heart is not an autoclave.

When crossing a river,

we muddy the water.

And here all water is sacred water.

As every celestial body

in the Universe, inscribed into

the Micro and Macro Book of Verses,

corresponds to my own

flesh-encompassed dust,

I walk under stars as proud as a drawn sword.

I am filled by this life

as a well in a rainstorm overflowing

long after the tribe of its diggers

has migrated, been decimated.

The only way to cross the desert

is on foot. And so Hermes on his wings

wore boots.

The mail gets here in time, in time to

requisition a fertile iris,

the last mandala for all of us.

Mandalas for all of us, athapoovidals

petals and eyelashes

dunes and ocean-floors.

Insignias in powder.

Vortices in typhoons.

I was never apprenticed to mending wings, but,

in this wilderness, one must make passage

for all amends.

Joe Milford is the host of The Joe Milford Poetry Show and the co-editor of Scythe Literary Journal. His first book was published by BlazeVox press in 2010 entitled Cracked Altimeter. He is a full-time professor of English and Creative Writing in Georgia. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Volt, The Brooklyn Review, CUTTHROAT, 32 Poems, The Wild Goose Poetry Review, Knockout Lit, H_NGM_N, Action, Yes, etc.

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