from A Poetic History: Of

Kent Leatham

click here for a note from the author

Of our national consciousness, we have no aptitude
Of sugar. God rewards.
Of Wichita in the distance
Of this cloth doll which
Of Champlain.
Of mercury. It’s zero. Ice soon.
Of memory and changing form
Of whom I remember nothing more
Of day, the drying wrinkled shirts of the casing
Of a shimmering green-gold dragon.
Of all storms, striking your Irish Cliffs of Moher
Of his mother, how she died in the fall
Of artillery. I never thought it would sing
Of greenery, as the last pale crumbs
Of mangosteens, for which we’d both fallen
Of heaped-up bedding, stroked slantwise by fingers
Of afternoon sun. McIntosh, he said again,
Of Poynton, so slowly the plot seemed to unfold
Of rice cakes and an apple in a garden
Of light and wind
Of an exhausted star told me nothing.
Of mountains. Here, the floors
Of crickets that are fed fish
Of a baby’s rattle, moves in
Of the children, at night
Of men full of beer who now
Of grownup children’s rooms and hallways where
Of tortured grammars writhing on their stakes,
Of statues in their hands, while numberless
Of the spillway. Trees surfacing
Of my parents’ cellar, I rummage, looking
Of an afternoon, they were left—her doorway with its
Of exile: of school, of being sent to bed, of being

Kent Leatham is a poet, translator, editor, and critic. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Fence, Zoland, Poetry Quarterly, Poets & Artists, InTranslation, Ezra, and The Battered Suitcase. Kent serves as a poetry editor for Black Lawrence Press, and lives in central California.