Somewhere, it isn’t night & a body
moves across another without harm,
as if taking a knife to the sky, & we
can answer when a child asks where
the world goes when our eyes close.
Somewhere, we are sorry; I assume
for our silences. Bones ache & char
& must burn, somewhere, surely as
skin. Even our ghosts have left us.
There must be a place where hands
aren’t cages & cages aren’t gestures
well-intentioned but failing. Where
we love with more than body & hurt
& know when we have hurt. Some-
where, a less flammable history, at
least where the sparks fly upward
before falling back to ash.
John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. A ten-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.