Wendy Burk

April 25, 2009

Inner Pool

I have not raised the weight
but already                       ripple coasts arm

coil to crook

never-erode, sets
when it crests
minute wrinkles
wink in light

face is a tendon water washes

nostrils their charge
as sanded surface
actuates: ah,

Power. The body’s dolphin’s on the move again.

Breath               enters                  blood
as beloved western snowmelt
below-road gullies.
Tiny bubbles blurbed                 by swimmer
whipping the waters
of the inner pool

this, the river Raja referenced

“nothing can stop their sending”

boils      incites
& is food to thee.

whom I nominate. “With a mighty hand
and an outstretched arm”
wrist too frail in its discus
yet it moves,
veins figured not as
rope swing
but as was inscribed for us
: to breathe.


the sun is to the west
and I am to the east
of the round juniper
and its round shade.
walking, always walking,
with my backpack,
my water, and my luck.
you are so far away,
and anonymous,
but to close my eyes
is to see the line
that connects us.
the loose thread
on your sleeve
is a hook
to my breastbone.
as my chest moves
the sleeve is undone.
I cannot breathe
without hurting you.
whoever wove us
wove us well.


I am all of them, they are all of me
—Etheridge Knight

The shelter is sobbing. Reaching inside its muddy pupils, I grasp a hand of surprising strength. She pulls me into a center room where children are playing, holding a box they say is their father. You see, they never knew him.

We chalk the floor: palm trees, musical notes, and a puppy dog. We sing. The colors are true. When it’s time to go, she touches my shoulder and force flows through my arm. The children hand me the box. You are heavy.

Naples Beach

we have moved so far toward simplicity        now we are heading out into deeper water

I feel uncomfortable                                                           in the vivid salt

want to run muscles stronger                than water

to shallows I                   can see.

spot over waist-high where water stops moving,                                 warms

you carried                      me.

wendy-burk-photo-3Wendy Burk is the author of a poetry chapbook, The Deer, and the translator of Tedi López Mills’s While Light Is Built, from Kore Press. Her work has also appeared in journals including TWO LINES, Tin House, Colorado Review, and PMS. With poet Eric Magrane, she has recently completed a manuscript of collaborative poems from National Park Service residencies in Michigan, Arkansas, and Florida.

4 Responses to “Wendy Burk”

  1. Terri French Says:

    but to close my eyes
    is to see the line
    that connects us.
    the loose thread
    on your sleeve
    is a hook
    to my breastbone.

    I love this, Wendy. These words, in turn, pull at me. We are all connected, are we not?

  2. molly Says:

    untitled is wonderful. thanks wendy. ~molly

  3. Hey genuinely nice blog!! Man .. Gorgeous .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your weblog and additionally get special feeds also…

  4. […] GENTLENESS by Wendy Burk   TEXT Share this:ShareEmailDiggFacebookRedditTwitterPrintStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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