You’ve Stolen the East by Michael Smith

And all along the Scottish moors,
you’ve tied a word to your tongue
And kept it like a little pet.

For all the mother’s words undone
(damn you!)how well can I know it
when it’s only under the foot of you?
If I could blacken my eyes,
and bury my ear,

and if I succumb to mortality’s airs,
I am going to yell at my face
throughout the longest period of a breath —
a punctuation on Lethe.

But the Spring’s aria,
it sings of you.
You’ve stolen the east.
You’ve stolen the west.

And now, for all there is —
only is, through the window of you.
And the external world is emaciated
into a skeletal boon.
And I fear, in this amour–
you’ve stolen my spirit too.

My memories become a statue —
sculpted with an arthritic hand,
a stranger unto myself.

And all that I see is yet to be.


Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of the Polytechnic Institute at Purdue, where he received his PhD in English in May, 2014. He teaches cross-disciplinary courses that blend humanities with other areas. His poetry has been most recently published in Tau Poetry Journal, Eunoia Review, Taj Mahal Poetry Journal, Zombie Logic Review, and the Asahi Poetry Journal. He also has critical work forthcoming in Symbolism and Cinematic. He has most recently attended the 2016 CCCC conference as well as 2016 NeMLA conference.