Idris Anderson: "Rim"




I wake to light struck green on the far side

of the canyon, everything fresh and wild

with heat. Coyotes nip and yelp like shrill birds

scrabbling over carrion. They have bitten to the heart.

In the aftermath of the kill, I listen to flinty steps

of a doe browsing for shoots between rocks.

Roots dig the wet bottom, buckeyes

bloom defiantly, making fingers, fists.

I’ve been figuring geometry in my head,

how to build a fence down the slope of the canyon.

My saw, my level, my square, my hammer, my sack

of nails, the posthole diggers—to impose an order,

mechanical and human.  I try not to think about

the stack of red heartwood waiting in the garden.


Idris Anderson’s first collection of poems, Mrs. Ramsay's Knee, was selected by Harold Bloom for the May Swenson Poetry Award 2008 and published by Utah State University Press. She has published poems in AGNI, Arts & Letters, Crab Orchard Review, Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mudlark, The Nation, Ontario Review, Paris Review, Plume, Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, and other journals.