Six Lung Tanka
 

Slow movie of two
lovers talking, kissing when
one touches the floor
the other begins to sing
as the moon drops back through trees
 

            ~

Now what gives you your
voice to trouble each passage
with whose methods would
you carry on without our
knowing, with what slow creature?
 

            ~

Suckle the voice so
slowly it takes its mood off
into the blood now
or beyond the lit patches
of shadowy branches here
 

            ~

Now each little dreamy
hasp of night gives up on us.
Now each short call from
above tramples the song if
what the noise finds comes correct
 

            ~

Without much more than
a moon to float under here
the needles lose their sap,
the dogs got the longest scent,
& we return to a dream.
 

            ~

Undone from the start
lost as if from birth now held
aloft to good stars
I don’t see why not, alright?
Then I can show you the way

 

 

 

Born and raised in Seattle, Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of seven books, the editor of five anthologies, and the director of a film about the band Califone. He’s lived in Bratislava, Chicago, Denver, and Dublin, and now makes his home in Tucson, where he teaches poetry and literature courses at the University of Arizona.

Photo of Joshua Marie Wilkinson in the lung at Biosphere 2 by Tyeen Taylor.

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