Antitwilight Arch
Daniel Baker

First, an image, then the difficulty
of its arrangement

The recurring aphasia
the sycamore leaves
me with, bent
toward at least two words

The laryngeal inlet
drifting in linen


First, your image, then I
stopped thinking

Glares off the surface
irradiate any concept,
container, patterns
of silk dissolved

The flood tide pours
through the door, into the room


I’ll start again

First, I was speaking

Then we both were
Altering the designs’
Small efforts
At the apportioned
Radius of concern

Sycamore turning live
Oak I laid under
To wake in the present
Among participles
Irradiated by being actual

Not preferring to stay
A trace, I developed confidence

To become a reed

Free aerophones
And free radicals

Through the bloodstream


My barefaced love for you
Small echo, my shame at saying it

Written in so that I
Avoid the formalism
And easy withholding

Of information
I know nothing

Just passage through
Space emptied

Stillness fluid
In the heat of July

You cannot say anything
For me to hear it

I’ll write two pears into the field
And wait


No time tonight
In the wind I can’t remember
Breathing sulfate, breathing
At all, no choice to remain
In these hills, bounded by this
Ocean, placing each word
In my mouth to be
Beside you, breathing
A small column of light
Alive in the middle voice
While the states burn

Daniel Baker was born in San Francisco and lives in New York City. He earned an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. His work has appeared in Blazing Stadium, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere.

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