by Samuel Piccone

To remain an empty vase that lingers with the smell of stem,
to hollow as potter’s clay in the wheel of your hands.

Even though it’s hard to praise my body when I’m shaped so much by yours,
I will be what you asked for. Tillage. A troughed self

existing in the perfect second between soil, trowel, and the pit.
I won’t ever ask what happens if marriage doesn’t fill us like it promises,

if there’s any stopping the fugue I hear lumbering like a dirt clod
down the rolling acreage of a wind farm toward floodplain. Do you hear it—

the first whimpering notes at the bottom of a ditch, something bled dry, drowned,
then my nose, wheezing mouth, places in me that always give way

to the final nowhere, the nobody, the nothing that fills you? I do.

Samuel Piccone received an MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications, including The Southeast Review, Passages North, Southern Indiana Review, and the minnesota review. He serves on the editorial staff at Raleigh Review, and currently resides and teaches in Nevada.