the diamond cutter speaks
The diamond cutter speaks with his mouth shut in my dream & I have to ask him for something but my teeth turn to dust. Clocks of five cities crashed in my chest with their ticking. His bucket of jewel cuttings smelled of pitch & I stood up slowly to begin counting aloud. You must count backwards with your eyes shut & listen for Jupiter's little quiz to drop you into the grasses behind the toy factory. This is Centralia, this is Sequim, these are the aphids drilling the trees in Wenatchee. Even the swimming pool drains are clotted with moths. I am holding my brother's arm. I am holding still like you said. I am near the garage light again & the air is burning a soft button into my ribs. Won't you count with my counting?
White letters arrived
in the city of cardboard boxes,
dropped through the cut transom
& the twins took the letters
with the biggest swooping signatures
into the woods to assemble
the story of the city.
Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of Suspension of a Secret in Abandoned Rooms (Pinball, 2005) and, most recently, Lug Your Careless Body out of the Careful Dusk, which won the 2005 Iowa Poetry Prize and was just released this spring. A tour documentary about the band Califone is forthcoming next year and this fall he will join the Wave Books bus tour from Denver to Chicago. He lives in Colorado where he is at work on a new book and a collaboration with poet Noah Eli Gordon.