Leslie Adrienne Miller


Leslie Adrienne Miller’s sixth collection of poems is Y from Graywolf Press. Her previous collections include The Resurrection Trade and Eat Quite Everything You See (Graywolf), Yesterday Had a Man In It, Ungodliness, and Staying Up For Love from Carnegie Mellon University Press. http://leslieadriennemillerpoet.com/



They were too high up anyway,
and too stupid to notice the sky
banking to the north, its hooded
bloom about to plunge all over
the other side of the peak. One of them
carried a bone, clean and bronzed
from weather’s rough tongue. The other
all blue, trailed her with a small gift
on his back, and it wasn’t hard to see
what he hoped might fall to him
in a meadow somewhere ahead,
poppies waving their frill at the sky,
stones going soft at the thought.
I’d have done the same were my
intended whole, but as it was,
the others were so long gone
you’d have to say we escaped
even memory. Taken for badgers
martens, harmless marmots, the gleam
of our eyeteeth is all anyone recalls
of an angry mammal. I came at them
from above, meaning to take
either of them in the wedge of snow
still hugging my rock. That bone
wasn’t mine, of course, but I’d carved
a soft welt in earth for it once,
nuzzled its knob snug in thick hide
meant to carry my kind. Now creaking wings
of what they call gondolas drop noisy shadows,
and the pilings they drove so deep,
long ago rammed my whole skeleton
into a space the size of that single femur
she waves like a wand when the squall
moves off. This is how we bless
every claim on the plush sedge
where they fling themselves down
and dare to make another of their kind.