“Arrangement” by Missy-Marie Montgomery

Missy-Marie Montgomery


Put a few words together prettily and it’s possible
to fall in love.
Move your hand slightly and I’m yours. Or gone.
And think of what can be done with flowers
or paint. I take back
what I said in my message yesterday,
the one saying I had printed and folded each message from you
into a boat, and now had a fleet of origami ships on my desk,
all of them sinking, none of them, I said,
seaworthy. That was mean.
If I think of them differently—not as vessels,
not as anything that might save a life—
but as smooth stones or carved chess pieces,
something I might hold to comfort me,
something I might put in my mouth,
then perhaps I can continue to pass the time this way.
The way I want you
just a detail, just a thing that can be carried.

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006


Missy-Marie Montgomery: “If we are fortunate enough, we find the small art we are called to do, and we do it. When I despair about the world, when I think about poetry and the small light it is, I am sometimes reminded of how even God was persuaded by words. Surely there’s hope for the rest of us.” (website)

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