I walk the purple carpet into your eye
carrying the silver butter server
but a truck rumbles by,
                      leaving its black tire prints on my foot
and old images          the sound of banging screen doors on hot
             afternoons and a fly buzzing over the Kool-Aid spilled on
             the sink
flicker, as reflections on the metal surface.

Come in, you said,
inside your paintings, inside the blood factory, inside the
old songs that line your hands, inside
eyes that change like a snowflake every second,
inside spinach leaves holding that one piece of gravel,
inside the whiskers of a cat,
inside your old hat, and most of all inside your mouth where you
grind the pigments with your teeth, painting
with a broken bottle on the floor, and painting
with an ostrich feather on the moon that rolls out of my mouth.

You cannot let me walk inside you too long inside
the veins where my small feet touch
bottom.
You must reach inside and pull me
like a silver bullet
from your arm.

  • Diane Wakoski, “Inside Out” from Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987. Copyright © 1988 by Diane Wakoski. Reprinted with the permission of David
    R. Godine/Black Sparrow Press, www.blacksparrowbooks.com/titles/wakoski.htm.

  • Source: Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987 (1988)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned that no matter how many times I do it, I will still be nervous when I speak in public. I also learned that it is possible to experience the same poem many times in a row and still feel like I am discovering something new about myself through the words of the writer."
Madeleine Schroeder
2017 OH POL Champion