This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features a new poem by Heather Christle, who will serve as a guest editor of the series for the following year. 



Briefly I own whatever snow I can fit
on my shovel
                         These boots just keep working
My feet are so warm
                                     and then at the apex
I throw it away
It’s like not watching the dough
while it’s rising
                            You return
to the tea towel’s slight curve
There is yeast in the air as well
as sadness
                    I’ll lick the tears from
wherever they land
                                   I just love
to get dressed for the weather
and then later to undress
                                             one glove at a time
Get this—you sleep in a bag
swaddled up in however you feel
your unobserved chest slightly rising
borrowing air
                         from the shape of the room
or borrowing fear from what
you’ve lately said
                               about death
the death of the children
I’ll kiss your lips
                             They’ll taste of regret
like when you move them
                                               in form of a prayer
regarding our trespass
                                         and there is
no one to forgive us
no one act to forget


Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they are published (no spam, no news, just poems).