Poetry June 2007

Bullet

Hear the author read this poem

It was like a really heavy seed, so I thought, Plant it.
No soil, so I swallowed it.

How to make it not the thrown stone, not the grape of wrath.
Make it not the animal’s eye gleaming at the attack.

Think tuft of cotton, not glint of cobalt.
A bluebell in my woods near moss.

There will be a loud report.
No. There will be snow falling on the shrub.

It was a heart and I its house, and I opened my door and it went out.
Small button on a blouse, then buckle of a belt.

But there was its pulse.
The tip of a jackhammer, tongue of an alarm.

I sang along.
I looked right in the mother’s gleaming eye.

It’s innocent, I said. Innocent.
Small ball.

No. I swear when my fingers unfurled, I held—a silver jonquil.
Maybe I mothered when I should have fathered.

Maybe a seed not for the start but for the end.
There was a small ball in the boy’s fist. And a voice in his ear, Throw it.

Presented by

Darcie Dennigan's first collection, The NEW Mothers, will be published next spring. She lives in Los Angeles.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In