by Mike Oliphant

Within the moving-on, there is also the carcass,
full boiling pot of broth stirred slow by illeist.

In ubiation he sets out shipless, not swimming
out but down.
He is in truth and mute digging.

His mouth fouls out when he does not speak.

When he does his words are all exonym and emerald,
invasive jaws teething in the bark of his being.

His tongue is not in time a rose.

What is final, he spits out.

He in his godlessness does not see a settling.

Even in endings, hurried grasps, is new translation.

Here he kneels his hands into soil, kneads
his thumbs into seed,
knowing there is no going back,
only watering here.

A welling up from another
up from where another world empties itself of birds.

What is sky opens up in constant shock and flutter.


MIKE OLIPHANT is an MFA candidate at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, where he teaches composition to sustain his caffeine addiction. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in publications such as IDK Magazine, Shooter Literary Magazine, NANO Fiction, The Molotov Cocktail, The New Poet, and more. The title of this poem is a quote borrowed from Marilyn M. Cooper’s “How Bruno Latour Teaches Writing.”


Photo: “Birds” by Theophilos Papadopoulos