Poem of the Week | August 26, 2019

This week’s Poem of the Week is “9”, an excerpt from Michelle Collotta’s new set of poems.

Michelle Collotta is a writer and editor living and working in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was recently a finalist in Missouri Review 2018 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize.



We are not fully-grown when we meet.
You open your hand and show me a mouse
that I sometimes remember as a bird.
You are not and will never be
from this town.

A fuse-blown eye foretells
a harsh fate—breaks in vibration
that know how to anticipate
your broken body, the way you close
your eyes when you can’t be seen.

Even in this moment, we can trace
the sound of the future adjusting its metal arms
to accommodate the subtracted weight.
When you leave, I find a hole
in the woods and circle it like a dog
until I drown.


Author’s Note

“9” explores the lasting effects of chance events, the subliminal self, and the impact of powerful emotion on both foresight and memory.