You are not the rock or the hard place,
the hollow meadow or the rusted pine, or
the half-benevolent wasp drunk with dying.
Never be the storm, the tune or the sorrow, or the wave.
Never Percy Shelley in his boat, bird.
Never Byron’s weeping vein. Peace—
for are you not the currency of evenings?
The worker and the traveler
and the knower of things? John Keats
asleep in the summer? Oh, bird, sleep
and forget the fickle wind.
Peace, bird, and wake in the morning.
He wrote “When I have fears that I may cease to be”
and ceased. I do not think that in the end
he was afraid. The plainness
of the kitchen and the
certainty of florescent
light against the
the glass is warped,
but outside I know is
the sweet breath of sleeping poets
and no silence.
I touch cotton which
knows its own violence,
but it is not to be used like poetry.
Outside it is dark.
Evening folds itself among the linens.
Emily Akin is an undergraduate student at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, where she studies poetry and theater. Her work has appeared in Talking River.