This weeks Saturday Poetry, matched with mobile photography/art is entitled ‘Countdown as Slow Kisses’ by Michael Wasson. “We are given these bodies—full of beauty, ache, and history—and are told to survive. We lean into joy and marvel, into our living, and yet we know that what we desire ultimately devours us. Might we surrender as we climax toward our gorgeous, unbearable ruin? This poem says yes”, explains Wasson.
Michael Wasson is Nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Lenore, Idaho. He earned a BA from Lewis-Clark State College and an MFA from Oregon State University. The author of Swallowed Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2021), Self-Portrait with Smeared Centuries (Éditions des Lisières, 2018), translated by Beatrice Machet, and This American Ghost (YesYes Books, 2017), Wasson is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship, a Native Arts & Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship in Literature, the Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry, and others. He currently lives in Japan.
I have matched this image by @velvet_iris_photography – Mari Mansourian – with this poem entitled ‘Up in the Air’. You can view more of her work here.
If you would like to be featured in our Saturday Poetry section, please ensure you include the hashtag #theappwhisperer to any images posted to Instagram. This will mean we will be able to consider it.
To view the others we have published in this section, go here.
Countdown as Slow Kisses
10. Here on my knees I look for the single animal: you left
ravaged at the edge of a meadow
9. Is everything accounted for? The fingers dipped
beneath the torso—to keep this body bright
8. Every breath we are desperate to take
sounds as if a war lost against a country of promise
7. Discarded halos: the light you remember
in your head—you feed on what is crushed between the teeth
6. America declares these dreams I have every night be re-
dreamed & pressed into names
5. Upended petals of qém’es
abandoned like torn butterfly wings—we’é I pray
4. I pray that nobody
ever hears us
3. An eye gone
bloodshot: I tear through the crisp apple of your throat & find—
2. myself: this—a boy beside a boy. An eyelash
fallen at the base of a valley, our dark bones bursting in-
1. to bloom. I stare into your beloved face & enter: yes,
yes, this nation, under god, its black sky we lay our nightmares to
0. where I am your animal: my Lamb—now eat
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