smashed on the floor between broken glass and under smoke we didn’t smoke
but moved through in the air which I couldn’t remember to breathe
Could you breathe?
What is more interesting than breathing
language we don’t want words for the hurt of the broken box we put our words in between us speaking of the smoke we couldn’t bare to breathe
because breath is just light made heavy in the body the body a blade snuck into the dog’s belly when it sleeps into one last sharp howl that ends like a word stopped before its last syllable
a word made of glass or a word made of steel won’t do when words for fire elude our breathing talk broken off and slitting
the air open and letting the light in where the wounds want to stay dark in the blind wet unknowing
like a dog who has died in the basement left to stay there an hour or so while the couple decides who will carry it out and where it will go
Matt Henriksen grew up in Wisconsin, where he attended Lakeland College and received a B.A. in Writing before receiving an MFA in Poetry at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Absence of Knowing and Ordinary Sun, and his poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Rumpus, the Arkansas Times, and in scores of other journals and anthologies. He has co-edited the online poetry journal Typo for over a decade and currently is a Teaching Poet and President of the Board of Directors for the Prison Story Project. His main project is raising his precocious and gorgeous seven-year-old daughter, Adele Cecilia.