p
o
e
m
s

I looked for it in the afterlight lapping the edge

of the long valley. I sought it in canopy, in the horizon’s

fringe, past wavering powerlines, the transistor station

newly painted. I threaded the margin

between the drainage wash and the waste river,

thinking I would find it there. I wandered a vertiginous

wood, speaking slurs, letting them mash in the bramble.

I let the ridiculous names of the Lord become hum

on the end of the tongue. I told stories so I wouldn’t

have to know myself as I was. I threw my voice

into a dense thicket, as though it would end

there. And when the voice came back—still tangled

in stupid exuberance and knowing nothing—I knew

finally that the dispensation selects itself.

If a child I will go nevertheless where I am sent.

What words are offered I will allow in the mouth.

Brandon Kreitler is the author of Late Frontier, selected by Major Jackson for the Poetry Society of America’s National Chapbook Fellowship. He lives in New York City and edits Practice Catalogue.

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