Which grieves, grieves this: habits that ease body
its bodiliness (salt bush and salt blood),
how its accounts are emptied of
the blank senses, gathered to empty.
And pilgrim who sings holy body less
and rents himself, all to the earnest earth,
how opens he, and open learns
borders and blank, the shape of breath.
I mark the edge of him with a blunt pen
so I know else by his not-ness and song--
was musick’d then, could many song,
this boy whom Circe loved and then--
this wounded shadow which Circe unwove
and weaves in wind. Does it succor? No.
Toby Altman is the author of the chapbook Asides (Furniture Press Books, 2012). His poems can be found in The Black Warrior Review, Fact-Simile, The Offending Adam, and other journals. He lives in Chicago, where he co-curates Absinthe and Zygote, an experimental reading series, and co-runs Damask, a chapbook press.