Tuesday Poem

 —After Carlos Drummond De Andrade


Within everything, something prior.

Within the sizzle of nerve, a remnant
of remote pox, and at the heart
of malaise, the mosquito’s
pierce and draw.

Within the swimmer’s breath,
the impulse of gills.

In the middle of the vacation,
fear of running out.

In the potential circumference
of a kick, the dog’s caution.

Within the loop of scarf, bruises.
Within safety, its counterpoint.

Within the forage,
the delusion of past fullness.

Within language, tongues,
and their longing.

Within the eye, a reservoir,
a dumpster.

Within surrender, the next rebellion.

Within the fig’s gluey heart,
a speck of dead wasp.

by Shirley Stephenson
from Bodega Magazine