Holding His Head in His Hands
He wants to find someone whose heart beats harder
than his, whose chest swells with each stroke,
whose eyes are cups wanting to be filled.
He is tired of holding his face like a mirror
before him. He is tired of rubbing
the violin of his own right arm.
He has the blood of animals on his palette,
yellow goat’s milk, blue light of a sparrow’s eye,
shit of the dog he’s just watched on the road.
Each day he awakens with a bed
full of plaster. He wonders if one day
he’ll find his leg turned into a cast.
Each morning he scrapes the imbricate scales
of his own face, plucks taut strings between
his teeth’s piano keys, spits green
syllables from between his lips’ red scars,
wraps his mouth around whatever rises.
He is waiting for bone to change to bird,
for each pregnant sound to grow fat with ideas,
for each word to wing its way to whatever
ear would hear it, for every line he makes
to find the life of an eye that watches.
© Scott Owens
Scott Owens’ tenth collection of poetry, Shadows Trail Them Home, was recently published by Clemson University Press. His prior work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the North Carolina Writers Network, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of South Carolina.