A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms
They say my poetry is one of nonbelonging
but this is a special way of being afraid.
Grasping at nothing in a swirl of leaves
that year, I ate almost nothing
which is a special way of being afraid
of how I came into the world,
eating almost nothing which could’ve filled me.
In this and only this I find my salvation.
That’s how I come into this world,
my sad and usual heart, dry as a winter leaf.
In this and only this I find my salvation:
more and more time passes silently
while my sad and usual heart, dry as a winter leaf,
becomes a shape less recognizable each week.
More and more time passes silently,
and, knowing me, I would complain
when I did become a shape less recognizable each week
or a cloud of freezing air that finally unhooked itself.
Knowing me, I would complain
when the passerby felt my separateness,
or a cloud of freezing air unhooked itself
grasping at nothing in a swirl of leaves.
When the passerby felt my separateness—
he whispered what they said about my poetry.
Michael Levan received his MFA in poetry from Western Michigan University and is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Tennessee, where he serves as nonfiction editor of Grist: The Journal for Writers. His work can be found in recent or forthcoming issues of Mid-American Review, Southern Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, Cimarron Review, and Third Coast. He lives in Knoxville with his wife, Molly, and son, Atticus.