31 JANUARY 2012


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from The Challenger Deep

About Ryan Collins



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You told me something meaningless
Took my temperature

I saved for a more difficult day

The mirror   the same face, a bit threadbare
A dress too restless

Wind changed the location of the word love

You accused me of stealing sadness
Disappeared sense   a lack of ceremony

Your hands, you said   could not be contained 




Trying to understand the nature of you 
Your logic of point, line   color

I was distracted from the significance

The margin of my breath waited for the flame
To passage from the eye   to dawn

You, exhausted   warned me against drawing

Blind   I ventured a line
A tower   the sky, the other hand   rain

Falling   you already took up too much space




Look   at your body, more than fog 
The sea covers, uncovers the surface of your extreme

You want to contain everything
Unimpaired by error

Then I see   you leaning
Against the weight of the end   of the world

It exhausts me to imagine the distance
You continue   to run from danger

Where a delay of sentences might stem the steady past



from The Challenger Deep

Chocolate will be the last taste
In my mouth if the Plexiglas
Fails   if these fifty long tons
Buckle   my voice will not reach
The surface   in time a response
Even traveling at a mile per
Second   will reach an aftermath
Of sudden collapse   a metallic
Silence   unable to receive or
Send   a final taste of chocolate
Before I flood   frozen inside
Diatomaceous ooze   an inch
Above hell   my final rest taken
Invisible among ribbons of glass 




To raise our gorilla knuckles   from their drag
Upward to   the lord into a weave of hands
We lift   to such great heights lift the other up
& build a latticework   to the lord we climb
Because to do otherwise is unthinkable   finds
Us trapped   apartments within apartments
We unhinge we are found   in the hands of
Others they make us   what we cannot make
With our hands too close   to see with our eyes
So we ask each other   to hold what our hands
Cannot   we drag & weave & build each other
Back up   toward the lord we compartmentalize
& find each other   to decompress we press on
Hands into hands our raw knuckles   folded
In prayer   our gratitude offered to one another




is the author of a chapbook, Complicated Weather (Rock Town Press) & an e-chapbook, Handshake Trouble (Gold Wake Press). Some of his recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Spittoon, Leveler, Knock, Ping Pong, H_NGM_N, Jellyfish, Diagram & Handsome. He lives in the Illinois Quad Cities & teaches in the Iowa Quad Cities. He can be reached at ryanrichardcollins@gmail.com.