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A River Can Never Go Home

by Michael Channing

A River Can Never Go Home from If These Walls Could Hit Back by Michael Channing

leaves let go of their fathers
a river can never go home
i’ve broken a switch
whittled it sharp
written an invisible poem

the wind has read every book
the rain has tasted the dead
i shook the moths
from the family quilt
and folded it under my head

don’t give me a razor
don’t give me a gun
give me the bullet
that would have been mine
and i’ll carry it under my tongue

nothing’s empty as long as there's sunlight
close your eyes it’s finally dark
i’ve fastened a box
filled it with straw
for god to live in my heart

the stars are fueled by my wishes
the driveway is covered with seeds
i planted a flower
outside my window
now the backyard is flowing with weeds

don’t give me a bottle
don’t give me a rope
give me a forest
where i can hide
and bury all of my hope

When the Sun Is Gone

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing

October 1, 2021