For E. B. A.

Confession Apologia

1 Awake in words, only Bare cliffs, the forest teeming
seeming to sleep listing on edge, loose
I follow you out a pall soil and strife

2 At once I know where What you hear is
you are gone, already not speaking an idle spar
an othertime elsewhere late barb in ear, mere
mote in eye

3 Your brow remains What you hear is
unaltered struck light river in ravine mute rush,
by morning mouthed clay, limestone

4 You do not I do not What you meet is
recognize your double— headlong spring yourself
flash of glass, glancing of an early eve, spare rue
return home—if no other piercing, carried away

5 To trespass, to grasp: What is known
to forgive is what is said,
to ask your name,
this plea or plaint

6 After all Refuse how wander
do you hear not wander how still
here we are how stay what hollow
this palm, this kiss

7 Stay us our or hallow
unmoving break now
wind through stone
water, bone

Julie Phillips Brown is a poet, painter, scholar, and book artist. After earning an M.F.A and a Ph.D. at Cornell University, she served as the N.E.H. Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics at Emory University’s Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Angels of the Americlypse (Counterpath), Columbia Poetry Review, Conjunctions (special web edition), Contemporary Women’s Writing, delirious hem, Denver Quarterly, Mixed Messages (Manchester UP), Peregrine, Talisman, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Lexington, Virginia, where she teaches creative writing, studio art, and American literature.