fall 2015 / Poetry 2015 / Uncategorized / Volume 46

Such Orphanage—John Sibley Williams

Such Orphanage

On all fours and roaming the peculiar half-

hour between orange and blue light, I howl

in response to the silence of the hills

leaning over my city. My city, yes, I speak like a dog

lifting its leg, trying to possess. I speak

and have only names to show for it.


Everything wild comes alive at dusk:

neon and knives, visions of home and her fingertips

plucking my naked spine like a harp.

I would like to learn to play

notes born of the body

that only the body can hear.

I would like to be buried here

in one of the forgotten moments


Pigeons fluster from a nearby rooftop,

flock together for a spell

before vanishing skyward.

If they return it will be different

than how we remember;

it will be different because we remember.


This is how we’ll go, I think,

and I tell her as much. Like the hills

over a city, like the wolves

that no longer inhabit the hills

over our city.

Like the sun gone silent

as night opens its mouth,

our bodies howl in response:


I own less of you

the more of you

I think I know.

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