from This Melody                                                                           —Michael Hettich


moved through our bodies
        and taught us not to think

                    which taught us to open
                         our bodies to the grass

at the edge of those unexplained woods where the deer
                  stood without names

                                                      and taught us

                  to lie down and open
                                    and learn to


                                                                   like the boulders


Wake up! my father
would call on those chilly

mornings when my body
was somehow more dense

than it is now, and I could sleep for days,

growing my fur,
dreaming my life,

wondering when I’d be born, and what

I’d call myself
when I stopped pretending

and let what I feared come inside me.


All day the smell of rain-drenched boulders

                  and when I moved,
                  something moved in the distance—

something naked, off beyond the trees.

                  Touch me deeper,
                  she said, than language,
                                    and we will turn to ash

                                    together, naked
                  before each other,

alive in the strangeness 
of burning.


One of the planets whose name has not been decided upon
                  and whose orbit hasn’t been charted precisely

lodged itself somehow
                  behind her eye,
where it yearned, as planets do, for seasons
                                                      and life.

It looked around calmly and saw through her eyes
                  how everything was dreaming
                                    and realized it orbited

around a sun that was still undiscovered somewhere

deeper inside her,
casting all that light.

Michael Hettich

Michael Hettich's most recent book of poems is Bluer and More Vast: Prose Poems, which was published in summer 2018. His previous book, The Frozen Harbor, won the David Martinson/Meadowhawk Prize from Red Dragonfly Press as well as a 2017 Florida Book Award. He recently moved from Miami to Black Mountain, North Carolina.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2018