Understand, for me it’s sometimes a bridge
over the frozen creek or a wall against the wind
propped up against the dumpster bay
like a mean city lean-to.
I slept on a bunch of books once.
Spent all afternoon lining them up:
seven wide and fourteen deep,
about five high, depending,
with a divot in the middle.
They became a warm, firm mattress
where I found a poem called
The Oven Bird and dreamt the night
of Thanksgiving’s past and realized
on waking I’d forgotten how to sing.
I love words for their descriptions of things,
in the way they’re used like doors. I used to be
a man. I love poetry, the leaning music,
for being mattresses, or fuel
for the fire; for reminding me to sing
in a way the city didn’t mean to.
~ Gregory Stapp
Gregory Stapp received his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. His poems have appeared in, Lime Hawk Journal, Shot Glass, The Ekphrastic Review, and Forage, among others. He recently served as the Poetry Editor for Qu: A Literary Magazine.
William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas where he teaches and writes. His poetry and prose have been published widely in such journals as Blue Mesa Review, Columbia, New Letters, and Prairie Schooner. He is the author of two books of poetry, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley, 2002) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth, 2011), as well as a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill, 2009). Retrieving Old Bones was a Kansas City Star Noteworthy Book for 2002 and is listed as one of the Great Plains Alliance’s Great Books of the Great Plains.