after the decree

By D. B. Ruderman



approaching the mosque where the highways meet
from the north and not the south or west
one gets another understanding of cloud and sky

my body it seems had it own direction
bleary, I was the last to know

destination I suppose is relative
the choices we chalk up to chance
(the brown carpet of my ex-father-in-law’s house
or his love of modern art)

yet even when the doors are open
relations are easily cut

how is it then that faith can coexist?
(a rendering of heaven
above the scrub and trashy fields
a bitten cuticle of sky)

she shouldn’t—it shouldn’t
matter to me now
my claim expired on that part of Ohio

no longer mine the clavicle, the echo
the deep-rooted tree


D. B. RUDERMAN (David) lives in Ann Arbor MI with his two teen-aged kids and his dog. Aside from essays on romanticism and poetry criticism and a recent book (The Idea of Infancy in 19th-C British Poetry: Romanticism, Subjectivity, Form) on Routledge, his poems have appeared in The Nervous Breakdown, The Berkeley Poetry Review, and (forthcoming) Anomaly. He has won the Hopwood Award at the University of Michigan and awards by the Academy of American poets. He currently teaches as an associate professor at The Ohio State University and runs a poetry-writing workshop for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction called Writing and Rewriting the Self.

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