Issue > Poetry
Derek JG Williams

Derek JG Williams

Derek JG Williams puts words into rows both long and short. He's a graduate of the MFA program at UMass Boston and is a 2016 Blacksmith House Emerging Writer. His poems are published or forthcoming in Plume, Best New Poets, Vinyl, Forklift Ohio, Salamander, Prairie Schooner, and New Ohio Review, among others. Derek currently lives in Arizona. Learn more about him at derekjgwilliams.com.

Skin & Bones


The poem is a body. Small malleable thing. Unruly epic thing. Changeling.


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The body goes through phases. Compact. Ambitious. Fractured. Its form evolves, moving between imperfections, limping along. Whether young or old it must feel new, just born—gasping for first breaths.


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We do our best to accommodate the odd hours of its need.


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The body is a self-contained world that exists in relation to other bodies. Their orbits are unpredictable, dazzling, near enough to touch.


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When the poem is complete, the body dies. It's a death we accept. Sometimes reluctantly. Always eventually.


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The reader reanimates the body, breathing across a threshold into its dead mouth. The poem stirs with this kiss—words mouthed from the page, muttered & shouted.


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The poem becomes the body, becomes itself. Nothing else.

 

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