the anatomy of a poem

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 40th birthday.

Toni Stuart
South African
b. 1983



we share the same teacher, she and I.
he, who considers each poem
a breathing, pulsing thing

brain, muscle, skeleton, breath
all essential for it to thrive
on its own, without its creator

and how these boundaries overlap
breath floods brain
rhythm drives intention home

meeting in the space where silence
lives in the body on the page –
the in-between.


next week, when deadlines haranguing
her head have passed, she will go in search
of the in-between

and write those poems
waiting within her
a selfless, selfish act

of reaching within
to reach without

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