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David Wevill


From Asterisks


Dreams: radical doors
forever open, closed

Wake at night to the crying of a spotted fawn
taken by something–

unknown yet familiar
city of strangers
all on first-name terms
whose meanings are forbidden

Here there has been a death
or a vanishment–
self, cold-case detective
in search of his shadow

too late, as often
among the clueless footprints
leading here or there

choose whichever.


We come home in the sense
there is that,
waiting or gone.

A deep
vowel draws us. Otherwise
what lurks in pastures
or lingers in dark city streets

is air that touches
An old sandal
its mate lost
is home. The air
in an emptied pen.

Not examples, images.

Memory of a loving hand
what night
makes afraid.


Spotted fawn is back.
Then what was that cry the other night?

No, there were three.
Lucky or unlucky three.

Both eyes
and the eye between,
the hidden bead of wisdom.

Sincerity of milk.
Duck between mother’s legs
and life will flow.

Deer crowd the little lawn.
Rush hour as I scatter food.

One hand, a dozen mouths.
The furred air we breathe.


True form
of no-form...

It is after and before

I separate
water from water
with my hands

What is there
was predictable, but
who would have guessed
it is this

air the live-oak fills.

                 -from To Build My Shadow a Fire