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My Knife


I keep a little Lear in my back
jeans pocket / a little sorrow
like a doll or jackknife
to slice away at storms
the tumbling skulls of hail
those bitter dice
or at those little winds that keep coming
out of the grass
with their seeds of silver
and nothingness
like faith being sucked out
of the earth / slipped back in
so I have to dig there to gnaw it out
I have to curse my left hand
the nub of thumb
I have to say my fingers
are the spirit scarves of grief
leashed to a hurt dog
its Cordelia heart softening
to whimper and yip
its Cordelia heart fountaining
in its chest like the moon
how cold the world is
on the blade of my knife
its tip snapped white
toothed / sharking the air
how cruel this little Lear
it wants the curved bite of blood
bubble and smear / the run
it wants the blood biting back
the knife taped to my last good hand
like a jailhouse shiv
which is not the world but its skin
which is not the world but its glove and dress


Dennis Hinrichsen

Rip-Tooth
University of Tampa Press


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