Luke Schlueter

In Issue 1 on May 1, 2008 at 11:20 am

Dust to Dust

The millions of cells dying in your body
even as you read this poem know better
than to wait it out. But what of
“the dark work / of the deepest cells”
like hooded hermits clasped in prayer
and the splendor you come to
in the roaming fixations of the blood?

And what of the concrete floor
of the storeroom where the chorus
of apples in baskets mixes its breath
with clods of earth, where
the worm passes over and into
new lives like a saint or prophet?

And what if when you step outside
the shale of your intentional self
you find a parade of thought
spilling out before you in the refuse
of late-autumn light, and you
feel suddenly the music of the poets
enticing you back into your dream?

Because between birth and death
there are only so many things that
keep on listening. Only so many
moments that won’t be contained,
that live to break their barriers,
like apples left behind in the field,
like worms crumbling into dust,
like the dust you breathe that is you.

Luke Schlueter: I received a Ph.D. in literature at Kent State University in 2000 after writing a dissertation on the work of poets Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry. I divide my time between working as Creative Director for the Institute of Reading Development and engaging in academic and creative work. I’ve recently had work published in Slant, Asphodel, Blueline, and Arsenic Lobster.


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