Issue > Poetry
John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams is the author of Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and six poetry chapbooks. He is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award and finalist for the Pushcart, Rumi and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. He's published in Third Coast, Nimrod International Journal, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, The Chaffin Journal, The Evansville Review, RHINO and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Everywhere Is Late Summer

The sun has grown gruesome
and given consent
to keep harvesting
the burnt field.  
We haven't learned
to say no.
An indifferent tractor
kicks up ash
and crow shadow.
We thank upward
outside us
and stone.

Within this shared body
it's civil to believe in
a fallow and burning word
for green. Let's say
verdant. Let's say
impossible return. A hole
in the center of every word
shaped like an exit.
There is no shame
in not speaking it.
     That

there is no word for the act
but an alphabet of consequences.
The existence of crows
understood by their shadows.
     I don't know what I've done

to the field.
But I do not own it.
The wall

I don't remember erecting
around my home
is still a wall.
I cannot choose
the side I'll die on.

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