Lisa Russ Spaar

for Ron Slate, 70

So it’s the world that possesses us, yes?
Weather, the inhuman, inflecting duress

on all our musings, hopes, the words
we pile, stones, complex & intricate wards

against the natal push of tides. 
But also in honor of the saline ride,

amnion that once flushed us forth at last,
gill-less, walls flooding the first gasp

of our end in this earthly dream,
whether by fire or slow rot, any means

that sucks from our bones’ comb
the honey that once was us.

Any anniversary’s a blessed rhyme.
Perhaps nothing is ours to own but time.

Lisa Russ Spaar is the author and editor of over 12 books of poetry and literary criticism, most recently More Truly and More Strange: 100 Contemporary American Self-Portraits (Persea 2020) and Madrigalia: New & Selected Poems (Persea 2021). Her national awards include a Rona Jaffe Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Pushcart and Best American Poetry Series awards. She is director and professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Read Lisa Russ Spaar interviewed by Emily Yaremchuk.


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