I don't know the rules. If I go looking
for grace and find it, what will grace
be but penance for my past, a silver
sinew-thread wrapping 'round old
wrongs, gray hair for the
I've naught but want for sweet release
from this history. The bombs ignored,
repeating in gramophone static
as wet bamboo. I remember someone
once sang here, once strung together
chords so sweet they rang like peace-
bells beneath cloudless sky. They've
rang the bell upon my jaw and
done no wrong.
It's not so much unlike one's curiously
cold reception at a funeral. The cold
and rain ****** at the skin
during graveside hymnal.
As long as the earth continues
its stony breathing I will breathe.
That which I cannot help but do.
Stuck between boulders, I sing.
When it stops, I will shatter back
into gravity. Into quartz.
"Rimrock" is a poem from Kaveh Akbar's 2017 collection "Calling a Wolf a Wolf." Akbar's lines are in standard type; my lines are in italics.
— The End —