I can see you through the bonfire, with us.
A fifth of Old Crow circling the dark.Where did that old life go? In Texas
the chemo inches toward your heart,things always dwindling to just the two of us,
a crumpled cigarette, a distant car:our voices, at dawn, so clearly posthumous.
Woodsmoke rising to the ashy stars.
Copyright © 2018 by Patrick Phillips
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Patrick Phillips is the author of three collections of poetry, including Elegy for a Broken Machine (Knopf, 2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, as well as Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America (Norton, 2016), which received the American Book Award in nonfiction. He teaches at Stanford University.
The American Poetry Review is dedicated to reaching a worldwide audience with a diverse array of the best contemporary poetry and literary prose. APR also aims to expand the audience interested in poetry and literature, and to provide authors, especially poets, with a far-reaching forum in which to present their work.
APR has continued uninterrupted publication of The American Poetry Review since 1972, and has included the work of over 1,500 writers, among whom there are nine Nobel Prize laureates and thirty-three Pulitzer Prize winners.