As in, cuts an elegant. Or geometric:
The curve the crow carves across the storm
-cleared sky. Or an integer: how one sums

up an idea. What things turn out to. As verb,
what numbers allow: to come to understand,
as in it out. Or the body, as of a passing person,

as in seen at a distance. A personage. Or
the heft and sway of breast, flank, muscle
as they celebrate hip, collarbone, under

moonlight. Or what it does, as in, make sense.
(The poem is only finished when you change.)
How a clock can be said to say the time.

Of speech: as in, how the writing—reads.

John Casteen’s Free Union (2009) and For the Mountain Laurel (2011) are part of the VQR Poetry Series from the University of Georgia Press. Recent or forthcoming poems appear in Fence, The Southern Review, The Paris Review, From the Fishouse, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, and other magazines, and in Best American Poetry and The Rumpus Poetry Anthology. He has contributed personal and topical nonfiction to Offline, The Morning News, Virginia Quarterly Review, Slate, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other magazines and newspapers. He lives in Earlysville, Virginia, and teaches poetry at Sweet Briar College, where he founded and directs the Sweet Briar Undergraduate Creative Writing Conference.