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The following poem was on the shortlist for Arc Poetry Magazine’s 2015 “Poem of the Year” contest and was published in the magazine’s Spring edition as Jenny Haysom’s “Editor’s Choice.”




Lament of a Bleeding Heart


I demand that the nineteenth century apologize.

I insist that outer space explain its inner workings.

I require that the future present itself immediately.


Or I will have to take steps;


I will dispatch a thousand hostile origami cranes,

I will flatten all six tires of time and darkness,

I will bend the will of several gods into a horseshoe.


You won't have seen it coming.


I direct that the rules of the game be clear and broken glass.

I command that the root of two be exonerated on grounds of insanity.

I order that Monarch butterflies be taught to do the backstroke.


Or regret will enter the equation;


I will force La Niña and El Niño into a misery of wedlock,

I will repeal the fourth law of thermodynamics,

I will commit the innocent to lives of guilty secrets,


Seeing will be believing.


I demand that the Higgs boson be hurled back into hiding.

I require Amelia Earhart's exact position and velocity, right now.

I direct that the rain grow wild from the seeds I've sown.


Or chaos will abound;


I will lock the night inside one shining lamp,

I will liberate sorrow from its prison in Spain,

I will annul the dark and sunny day we met,


Yes, I will.