August

The gulls are all business
with this century's charge,

applying their hoarse benedictions
to the parking lot's shins.

I take nothing from the car
leaving even my shoes at the pedals.

O the calm smack of a cloud's intercession.
Yet more guarantees from the sea.

I bend down so as not
to stymie the sky any longer.

Who is ever this available?
As if the world has been kissed back in place

where we're known only by our skin
and the heat that has taken it up as its own.

 


Mark DeCarteret's work has appeared in AGNI, Chicago Review, Conduit, Phoebe, and Salt Hill, as well as such anthologies as American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Press, 2000) and Thus Spake the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader 1988-1998 (Black Sparrow Press, 2000). Recently his work has been featured online at Maverick Magazine and Mudlark. His books of poems are Over Easy (Minotaur Press, 1991), Review: A Book of Poems (Kettle of Fish Press, 1995) and The Great Apology (2001) published by Oyster River Press for which he also co-edited the anthology Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets.