Waiting for the Heat to Break into Rain

Michael McGriff

Bindweed lies flat in the ditch.The whole county has water on the knee.I wire my shadow to a fence.I hear the pattern for a burial dress move through the sky.A child pulls a shad from still water.If only I could unsee the marquee of his face.The molted head falls apart in his hands.

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photo of Michael McGriff
Photo:
Marcus Jackson

Michael McGriff is the author of several books, including two recent collections of poetry, Eternal Sentences (Arkansas, 2021) and Early Hour (Copper Canyon, 2017). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Poetry London, Bookforum, and American Poetry Review. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Idaho. Read more at michaelmcgriff.com.

"A blend of the low-rent sociology of Raymond Carver with the quirky imagination of Richard Brautigan . . . Eternal Sentences will come at its readers as a series of happily endless delights."
—Billy Collins, from the preface

"Eternal Sentences is a collection of small wonders, lines and stanzas and sentences that expand with each reading. The poems hold inside them their own eternities. McGriff is the master of the miniature narrative, but these poems are as much visions as stories. These ‘sentences’ are music."
—Laura Kasischke, author of Where Now

"This collection covers such ground, such energy, while committing to brevity and to the one-sentence line. Michael McGriff’s career is a catalogue of stellar work, and Eternal Sentences strikes me as more light among the intricacies of the trees."
—Marcus Jackson, author of Pardon My Heart

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