Robert Carr

In corridors, everything childhood, fragments of familiar sewn in single form. Like spiders, boyhood memories climb my catheter. We laugh together, carry the heavy of human clouds. Our way is divided between tree rings and marrow and only subtle changes in temperature tell us if we walk toward sunlight or a storm.

Outside my room, the bottlebrush of a squirrel twitches in a fruit tree. Through my fog, I feed him opioids from the plastic cup that holds my blues and pinks. In the field beyond the window, my father gathers milkweed pods, motionless wings, brown as seedpod thrush. From his bared chest an inky question reaches out to paint a cloudless dark. Parted lips blow cloud rings for the so close moon.

First: air in the small space between our mouths. Color, swirling on the palate, my bright blue mixed with husband red creates a pure and silent hum of violet. Out of time, the only thing there is, that light purple air. Unremembered things seal in our colors, recognition of lick in smooth pink heat. In this place, I float above the bed. Cardinal and barn swallow, touch of hands, the next that’s more.

I’ve walked far to find the untouched dune, the graves of lovers in sand and stone. I brush buried bone, root through grains, find granite heads. Exposed, bleached, I kiss the enamel of their teeth. My patchwork skin has pulled apart. Fingers throbbing, I stroke gold incisors, my treasure tongued in many mouths.

In our dream band, on Bb clarinet:

Robert Carr is the author of Amaranth, published in 2016 by Indolent Books and The Unbuttoned Eye, a full-length 2019 collection from 3: A Taos Press. Among other publications his poetry appears in the American Journal of Poetry, Massachusetts Review, Rattle, Shenandoah, and Tar River Poetry. Robert is a poetry editor with Indolent Books and recently retired from a career as Deputy Director for the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Additional information can be found at

Next Page

Previous Page