Two Poems

William Erickson

Joy Ode

From the center of a small town a well sings of all the children that have fallen in. It is a sad song—there are many children—but a beautiful song, and in the constant din of stars it sounds like love would sound if love could be an echo. But love is not an echo. Love is a staircase in a meadow whose shadow tells the time. If you listen to its song the well will beg you not come and as you come the song grows low and soft and secret. We do not know what things are real. In winter we cut down the trees because they look too much like us.

Joy Ode

Every day my joy puts on the tomato costume. Every day I stroll through the garden, wink at the bees, the stone steps bedding the river of my body. Once, I sewed magnolia leaves into a cape. All of us pretend to be ourselves and in pretending never notice that a self is just a seed inside a burlap sack. I slice my joy into uneven halves, and when I rinse the knife I wound the water.

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Headshot of William Erickson

william erickson is not a water slide. He is not in bed with science. Though william becomes things frequently, there is no time to describe them. Try looking in West Branch, Mercurius, Afternoon Visitor, or in his few little chapbooks, or in his forthcoming book You Don’t Have to Believe in the World, which is out in May with April Gloaming. william is a sea of Bs and Os. At night his edges soak up a beach. The beach is in Washington.

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Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Joe Aguilar
Daniel Miller

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