Tory Adkisson

The Garden
after James Merrill 

Dream the dream called dirty 
laundry & dress me 
as you like: knee-high 

stockings of a call girl, feathered hair 
of an Indian boy pulling 
arrows, his bow strung. 

Remember: point to shoot. 
Tonight, I pull your body 
taut from the quiver, watch it fall 

apart in lost fletchings. Lilacs 
sprout from the small of a statue’s 
back as it bends away from us, 

grasping for the hand of a friend 
whose body, once handsomely 
defined, has worn smooth & round 

as a cat’s eye. The air around us
condenses into locusts: a whole 
life spent digging for eggplants 

& daikon to make a stew.
I should’ve mined the vegetables 
from my body, realized 

I have a turnip for a tongue.


Tory Adkisson

<em>Edit Poetry</em> Tory Adkisson

Tory Adkisson’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Third CoastColorado ReviewBarrow StreetQuarterly WestBoston Review32 PoemsBest New Poets 2012, and elsewhere. A graduate of the MFA program at The Ohio State University, he currently lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is at work on his first collection of poems.