Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Beware The Complete Poems 
of Emily Dickinson.

Solitary words,
machined with such precision,

are liable, when incanted, 
to crack the roof open

and fill up your classroom 
with sharp sky-
colored diadems.

Incantations like hers
are much safer 
read in private, 

for when- and wherever 
such a stealth bomb 
is detonated, 

every molecule 
in the ears of the hearers 
might quiver,

the hard drives 
in their cell phones may
spontaneously erase,

and of course, 
there's the ominous possibility 
of power failures: 

the overhead projector
darkens; the lights dim 
and flicker;

the custodian in the basement
primes the generators, 
just in case.