A Journal of poetry and kindred prose

Philip Dacey

is the author of eight full-length books of poetry, the latest The Mystery of Max Schmitt: Poems on the Life and Work of Thomas Eakins. His latest chapbook, his twelfth, is Three Shades of Green: Poems of Fatherhood. He co-edited the anthology Strong Measures: Contemporary American Poetry in Traditional Forms.

In 2004, he moved from Minnesota, where he'd taught for 35 years, to Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Visit his website.

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Heart, Stomach, Soul, and Mind, give me the strength
to love this shining woman right. Let me make
a funeral pyre of all my old mistakes
and my new ones burn up along their length

with bright colors that willy-nilly charm her eyes.
If I’m remiss in tending to her, whack
my head good. Let me deal her from my deck
surprise after surprise after surprise.

Strip me of my armor, so heavy, so cold.
I’ll wink at pain, should it lie down with us.
Please. Trust be a seed you plant, water, and fuss
over until we flourish in its shade,

hands full-time students of the art of letting go.
In all things, a light touch. She eyelash, I snow.